• The Star Staff

Energy regulator may allow hike in electricity bill

By The Star Staff

The Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (PREB) appears to be inclined to allow a 1.5 cent increase per kilowatt-hour (kWh) rather than a 2 cent per kWh hike requested by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) to pay for a hike in fuel prices.

The PREB on Thursday heard testimony at a hearing after PREPA on March 16 sought a hike for the months of April to June of this year. It was not slated to decide immediately on the hike.

Electricity bills for regular residential clients would increase by $17 per month on average due to the proposed hike, which would become effective April 1.

While the basic fee remains unchanged, the rates include certain riders that cause prices to vary.

PREPA is responsible for presenting the estimates and costs to be reconciled, while the PREB evaluates, audits and establishes the quarterly adjustment to be returned to the client or vice versa. Since 2019, as approved by the PREB, the basic rate for a residential customer covered by the General Residential Service (GRS) rate with a consumption of 800 kWh has remained the same, at 5.73 cents per kWh.

Meanwhile, there have been fluctuations due to adjustments in both the cost of fuel and the purchase of energy, as the market has changed. For the period from January to March 2020, prior to the pandemic, the cost per kWh was 22.8 cents, the cost of fuel represented 10.41 cents per kWh and the purchase of energy was 4.59 cents per kWh.