• The San Juan Daily Star

Union leader: LUMA’s operational deficit likely to cause another rate hike

“This fourth increase requested by LUMA Energy in just six months ... is meant to hide another even greater increase from us,” UTIER President Ángel Figueroa Jaramillo said.

By The Star Staff

LUMA Energy did not consider its operational deficit when it filed a petition to reconcile expenditures last week for the first three months of 2022, which means a rate increase is very possible, Electrical Industry and Irrigation Workers Union (UTIER by its Spanish acronym) President Ángel Figueroa Jaramillo said Monday.

LUMA Energy’s petition may lead to an 18.4% rate hike because of an increase in fuel and oil prices.

“This fourth increase requested by LUMA Energy in just six months, which corresponds to the purchase of fuel, is meant to hide another even greater increase from us,” Figueroa Jaramillo said in a written statement. “LUMA has a large deficit in its operations that could exceed $60 million at the end of the year. Obviously they will request another increase so that the people will pay for it. This will be LUMA’s Christmas assault because they came to make money, not to lose it.”

The union leader reiterated meanwhile that both PREPA Executive Director Josué Colón and Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia want to assume LUMA’s responsibility in increasing the rate by 18.4 percent just to justify the contract.

“We cannot continue to justify the unjustifiable just to make LUMA look good,” he said. “The governor promised that this contract would not lead to rate increases, the president of LUMA promised that there would be no increases in three years and, already, in six months we have four increases in the bill with the great possibility of one more. We always said that this would happen; the UTIER warned about it and time as always proves us right.”

Meanwhile, Justin Peterson, a member of the Financial Oversight and Management Board, denounced PREPA’s failure to pay any of its debt for the past seven years, including over $300 million owed to Mammoth Energy, which forced the company to reduce its staff to 840 from 2,265.

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