San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Group launches fight against automatic adjustments in fuel prices, electricity rates

A citizen group on Wednesday asked Ombudswoman Ofelia Taitelbaum to help eliminate the automatic rate adjustment model for fuel and electricity prices applied by the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP).

The group, named National Solidarity Network, wants Taitelbaum to assist them in filing a legal action challenging the constitutionality of this method, which calculates periodical rate adjustments by taking into account aspects such as international fuel prices and changes in the exchange rate.

A letter from the group states that the automatic tariff method used by ARESEP “causes serious damage to citizens every month in fuel prices and every three months in electricity rates, which is a clear abuse of a provision set by this law.”

The Ombudswoman said the model had been criticized in the past, and her office has filed several appeals before ARESEP’s board, but none were resolved in their favor.

“The impact that public services tariffs and fuel prices are having on the wallets of Costa Ricans warrants a look back, once again, at the possibility of filing a lawsuit before the Constitutional  Chamber of the Supreme Court to help these citizens,” Taitelbaum said.

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