• The San Juan Daily Star

LUMA, PREPA officials must answer PREB questions on rate hikes

Puerto Rico Energy Bureau Chairman Edison Avilés Deliz

By The Star Staff

Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (PREB) Chairman Edison Avilés Deliz has summoned the directors of LUMA Energy and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) for a technical hearing on Wednesday.

In it, officials will have to answer under oath the reasons for the request for a rate increase for the first quarter of 2022. As reported by the STAR, LUMA submitted data last week for the quarterly reconciliation of expenditures in gas, diesel and energy, which is slated to result in a rate hike because of the hike in oil prices worldwide.

“As we have established, the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau has multiple roles regarding the operability of the electrical system. Our duty is to guarantee the best service to clients,” Avilés Deliz said in a written statement. “So we will not give way to any increase that is not closely related to expenses related to the purchase of energy and fuel.”

In a uniform decision, the PREB commissioners ordered LUMA and PREPA to deliver on or before Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021, at 10 a.m., information that establishes and/or clarifies data related to the incremental cost of diesel fuel in the San Juan 5 and 6 units, relative to the cost of natural gas as projected during the months of September, October and November 2021; the source of the adjustments presented in the petition; and the weighted price of PREPA’s Generation Directorate with information as of Nov. 30, 2021.

The resolution notes that the representatives of LUMA and PREPA must be prepared to answer, under oath, questions from PREB staff and the commissioners. Likewise, they are expected to answer questions on the status of the contractual claim against New Fortress related to the timely supply of natural gas to units 5 and 6 of the Central San Juan, as well as the potential amount of said claim from the previous quarter and any similar claims corresponding to the months of September, October and November 2021, and the efforts made to correct the billing problems experienced by LUMA during the months of June, July and August 2021, among other data of interest to the people and the public administration.

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