By Benjamin Flowers
Belize Electricity Limited has announced that it wants to cut electricity rates to consumers in Belize by about 1 1/2 cents a kilowatt hour.
But first the company needs the approval of the regulatory body, the Public Utiities Commission. .
Derek Davis, director of the electricity sector of the PUC, has explained that because of the process involved, Belizeans will not see any reduction of the electricity rates this month if the proposal is approved. .
“We have had initial discussions with BEL and have agreed that there is room for a reduction of the rates,” Davis said. “But these changes, if they are approved, will affect the January 2015 consumption of electricity.
The PUC has 15 days to respond to BEL’s proposal, and BEL will then have 10 days to reply if there are any changes. Once the procedure is complete, the PUC must then make a determination within five days.
BEL made the proposal on Monday, December 8 to have the mean electricity rate (MER) reduced from 43.47 cents a kilowatt hour to 42 cents a kilowatt hour, a 3.4 percent cut covering January 2015 to June 2015.
BEL explained via a press release that the proposed reduction is the result of savings it has realized on the acquisition cost of power, and now the company wishes to pass on the savings to the consumers.
BEL says these savings were derived from lower than expected costs of power purchased from Mexico’s Comisíon Federal de Electricidad (CFE) during the current tariff period, but would not agree to a press interview.