Posted: Saturday, January 23, 2016. 6:43 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) was unsuccessful with a submission to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) which it made in December for an eleven per cent increase in rates, representing nearly four cents per kilowatt-hour from the all-time low of 35 cents to just under 39 cents.
However, it is asking for a similar figure, on average, as part of the Full Tariff Review Proceeding (FTRP), as announced in a public notice issued on Friday.
The power provider says it is requesting this increase in the mean electricity rate of 39 cents for the five years from 2016 to 2021 in order to ensure that the true cost of power is reflected in electricity rates; stabilize electricity rates in the long term; and allow it to improve service reliability and expand its service.
The FTRP is established by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and is held every five years. It considers not only the rates, but all the factors and values associated with electricity provision including BEL’s operations expenses and investments.
The PUC has scheduled a public meeting for February 9, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel where comments can be made on the application. All comments are due by February 19, with an initial written decision due on February 22; if there is no objection by March 7, that decision becomes final.
Alternatively, if there is objection then an Independent Expert may be appointed to review the decision and a final decision would then be made by the end of June.
All information on the FTRP is available as of January 27 at the offices of the PUC on Gabourel Lane and BEL on the Philip Goldson Highway.
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