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Another electricity rate hike goes into effect


Puerto Rico Energy Bureau Chairman Edison Avilés Deliz

By The Star Staff


Starting Friday, local consumers will experience yet another hike in their energy bills.


The Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (PREB) reported earlier this week that it approved the seventh consecutive increase in the electricity bill that will become effective Friday and remain in effect through Sept. 30.


The agency indicated in a press release that the factors behind the quarterly adjustment were the purchase of fuel, the purchase of energy and the fuel subsidy.


LUMA Energy, the private operator of the island’s electricity transmission and distribution system, had requested on June 15 a 17.1% increase for its residential customers for the third quarter of 2022.


“For a residential customer with an average consumption of 800 kWh [kilowatt-hours] per month, the new price for electricity service will be 33.4 cents per kWh, compared to 28.82 cents per kWh for the previous quarter,” the PREB said in a statement.


The cost per kWh will be reviewed again on or before Oct. 1.


The PREB also approved the annual adjustment factors that will impact the electricity rate starting Friday until June 30 of next year. They are the Contribution in Lieu of Taxes (CELI-Municipalities), social interest subsidy and other subsidies.


“The factor that continues to affect the cost of electricity service in Puerto Rico the most is the international price of oil and other fossil fuels,” PREB Chairman Edison Avilés Deliz said. “I reiterate my call for the entire country, and very particularly the Electric Power Authority and LUMA, to focus on the transition to renewable energy, particularly with large-scale solar projects. Otherwise, we will continue to be kidnapped by the fluctuations in the prices of diesel and natural gas.”

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