By Marion Ali, Staff Reporter
Electricty rates are likely going to be increased, less than a year after it was reduced, following a request by the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) for an amendment to the rates.
The Public Utilities Commission, the regulatory body for utilities, informed via press release on Friday that BEL had made a submission to them the day before, requesting an amendment to electricity rates.
“BEL’s submission is based on an underestimation of the Cost of Power (COP) impact of BEL’s Gas Turbine and an overestimation of the COP impact, primarily due to lower rates from Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE)”, stated the PUC release.
The PUC says that in order to recover the variances in cost of power by the end of the 2012 – 2016 Full Tariff Review Period, BEL is requesting an 11percent increase in the Mean Electricity Rate (MER) from 35 cents per kilowatt hour to 38.85 cents per kilowatt hour.
The PUC indicates that BEL’s request aims to ensure that all updates are made to the systems used to calculate electricity rates during the current full tariff period in order to avoid a carryover of these variances into the next Full Tariff Review.
The PUC will give its position to the request within a few weeks, after which BEL will have time to respond.
Electricity rates were reduced in January of this year, when the PUC approved a five percent decrease.