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PUC proposes a 4% hike in BEL electricity rates

By Benjamin Flowers

The cost of electricity will be going up, starting July1.

The Public Utilities Commission called a press conference to explain that it has approved an increase in the mean electricity rate of a little more than 4 percent.
PUC Chairman, John Avery, said it was a lower increase than Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) had applied for.

“They wanted a rate of 39.04 cents. The PUC approved a rate of 36.43 cents”, Avery said. The 36.43 represents a 4.08 percent increase.
Avery pointed out that BEL has the option to object to the smaller increase. If BEL objects, the PUC will need to contract an independent consultant to review both proposals to determine which would be the most feasible option.

BEL this week gave its preliminary response, saying that it is reviewing the PUC’s decision, and will make a formal response within the 15-day time limit.
The PUC’s proposal, if accepted, would mean a $57 million cut in BEL’s projected budget over the next four years, BEL said. The company expects to submit a full response by March 22.

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