Costa Rica slashes electricity rates 7.3 percent

September 11, 2009

The cost of electricity will be less expensive in Costa Rica during the final three months of 2009. The Administrative Contention Court ruled in favor of the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) on Wednesday, meaning that electricity rates will be discounted an average of 7.3 percent for the remainder of the year.

The approval of the discounted rates concludes an ongoing dispute between ARESEP and the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), which opposed the drop.

In late August, ARESEP announced that electricity rates would be trimmed due to the large amount of savings earned by the lessened cost to produce thermal (fossil fuels-based) energy due to lower petroleum costs. According to ARESEP, the cost of producing thermal energy fell from $97.97 million in 2008 to $45.48 million in the first nine months of 2009. Because the savings for energy producers were so high, ARESEP said savings should be passed on the customers, and thus proposed the lowered rates, which were intended to go into effect on Sept. 1.

ICE, the primary electricity provider in the country, opposed the rate reduction, and the dispute was taken to court.

During court hearings, ARESEP asserted that by not cutting rates ICE was overcharging consumers. ICE contended that the money saved over the year was being redirected into investment plans and the discounting of the rates would put those plans at risk. On Wednesday afternoon, the court ruled in favor of ARESEP, ordering the discounted rates to take effect immediately.

“The court ruled that ICE didn´t have a strong enough argument to keep the rates from dropping,” Carolina Mora, a spokeswoman for ARESEP, told The Tico Times. “Therefore, the discounted rates begin immediately and will last until December 31 of this year.”

ARESEP estimates that a family in San José that uses 300kw/hours will save an average around ¢ 1,400 per month.

You may be interested

Adaptive surfing, part III: Riding the waves with Noah
sports
37 views
sports
37 views

Adaptive surfing, part III: Riding the waves with Noah

Ellen Zoe Golden - May 25, 2018

Part III in a series on adaptive surfing in Costa Rica. Read Part I, about the country's association for disabled…

It’s frog orgy season
Environment and Wildlife
1141 views
Environment and Wildlife
1141 views

It’s frog orgy season

Lindsay Fendt - May 25, 2018

The rainy season is upon us. For many of us that means hiding indoors for the next few months, but for Costa…

Costa Rica’s guilty voters
No Sugar Please
102 views
No Sugar Please
102 views

Costa Rica’s guilty voters

Álvaro Murillo - May 25, 2018

By what I have done, and by what I have left undone. A relative of mine is 70 years old…