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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Energy Bureau approves 4.7% increase in energy bill

By The Star Staff

The Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (PREB) has approved an increase in the electricity bill of 4.7% that was to be applied beginning Monday and remain in effect through Sept. 30.

The result will be a price, for an average residential customer with a consumption of 800 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month, of 23.779 cents per kWh, not the 24.086 cents originally requested by LUMA Energy, the private operator of the island’s electric power transmission and distribution system.

Currently the cost per kWh is 22.72 cents.

“The role of the Bureau is to make a balance in favor of the public interest. That implies ensuring that excessive expenses are not passed on to the consumer, but it also means avoiding the managerial responsibilities that led the [Puerto Rico Electric Power] Authority to bankruptcy,” PREB Chairman Edison Avilés Deliz in a written statement. “In this reconciliation, the Bureau avoided a greater increase than necessary, but was forced to recover all the costs associated with the purchase of fuel.”

Avilés Deliz noted that LUMA Energy had requested a cost per kWh of 24.086 cents.

“As a result of certain discrepancies associated with the power purchase clause identified by the Energy Bureau during the evaluation process, a quarterly adjustment 1.3 percent below the requested one was approved,” he said.

The PREB’s resolution explains that what was invoiced by LUMA for the purchase of fuel during the previous quarter was below the real cost for a total of $56,663,337.32. That amount will be recovered on the bill during the quarter beginning Monday, July 1. Similarly, it details that LUMA overbilled $8,294,423.32 for the purchase of energy, an amount that will be credited to customers on the bill during the next quarter.

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