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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

LUMA announces possible rate increase

By The Star Staff

LUMA Energy President & CEO Juan Saca announced late last week that he presented to the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (PREB) the calculations for the adjustment of the costs of fuel and energy purchased, where he pointed out a possible increase in customer rates of 1.4 cents per kilowatt-hour starting in July.

“As reported, the increase in the cost of fuel is due to the impact of fuel consumption and fuel mixture used by the island’s generating companies,” Saca said in a written statement. “Although LUMA does not generate electricity, nor does it purchase fuel or have control of generation fuel costs, which is the sole responsibility of the generators, we are committed to doing everything we can to help our customers by prioritizing the transition to renewable energy and promoting available assistance programs.”

“LUMA is not a generating company,” Saca reiterated. “LUMA’s sole responsibility is to calculate fuel costs based on the information provided by Genera PR and the PIPs [percentage of income payments]. The [Energy] Bureau determines any rate adjustment, and LUMA does not add costs or benefit economically from an adjustment, since it is an expense in fuel and energy purchased.”

Saca said the requested increase is based on, among other factors:

* A 15 percent increase in fuel consumption due to higher seasonal demand and increased use of peak fuel generating units, which require more expensive fuel

* A shortage of natural gas at the Costa Sur and Ecoeléctrica power plants, which will represent a higher consumption of more expensive liquid fuel

* A considerable increase in liquified natural gas fuel used to supply FEMA’s previous generators.

“Although LUMA cannot control the impact of fuel costs on customers’ bills, the company is committed to helping those experiencing financial hardship through payment plans or by facilitating access to government assistance programs or subsidized rates to which they qualify,” Saca said in the statement. “For more information, visit, call 1-844-888-LUMA (5862) or stop by any of LUMA’s customer service centers.”

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