Energy Bureau approves electricity rate hike

By John McPhaul

The majority of the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (PREB) approved the annual adjustment clauses that will apply to the island electricity rate from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022, and the quarterly adjustment clauses that will apply from July 1, 2021 to Sept. 30, 2021, increasing the unsubsidized rate by 1.48 cents per kilowatt/hour (kWh), the PREB announced Wednesday.

The annual adjustment clauses are: Contribution in Lieu of Tax (CILTA) ,Social Interest Subsidy (SUBA-HH) and Other Grants (SUBA-NHH).

The quarterly adjustment clauses are: Fuel Purchase (FCA), Purchase of Power (PPCA) and Fuel Subsidy (FOS).

The adjustment factors for Contribution in Lieu of Taxes and Other Grants were reduced compared to last year. The Social Interest Subsidies adjustment factor and all quarterly adjustment factors increased. In total, the adjustments imply an increase in the cost per kWh of 1.48 cents. The quarterly adjustment factors will be reviewed again on or before Sept. 30, 2021.

The new price for electric power service for an unsubsidized residential customer whose consumption is 800 kWh will be 21.17 cents per kWh, compared to 19.69 cents per kWh for the previous quarter.

The PREB also ordered the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority to report “within a term of five (5) days from the date of notification of this Resolution and Order, the expected date to reach the conditions of ‘Substantial Completion’ regarding the conversion (to natural gas) of the San Juan 5 and 6 units.”

“Within the same term, the Authority must present a detailed report of the remaining actions to achieve said conditions, including estimated dates to complete each action,” the order said.

The request comes out of the expectation that once the work is completed, the conversion of the units will imply a reduction in the cost per kWh. The PREB issued the order in the interest of expediting the conversion work, it said.

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