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Regulator approves decrease in electricity rates

The onset of the rainy season and the launch of two renewable energy projects have prompted a decrease in electricity rates for the next three months.

Both situations allowed for a reduction in thermal generation of electricity between May and July.

The Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) calculates the costs for companies to generate electricity using fossil fuels each quarter. The cost savings recorded in recent months translates into lower rates starting October, the agency reported.

The new rates will apply for the eight electricity companies in the country, although the change in tariffs will vary by company.

Customers of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), the Public Services Company of Heredia, the National Power and Light Company (CNFL) and Electric Services Administrative Board of Cartago will see a 1 percent decrease in their monthly rates.

Customers of CoopeAlfaroRuiz will see a 0.7 percent decrease; customers of CoopeGuanacaste and Copesantos will see a 0.5 percent decrease and customers of Coopelesca will see a mere 0.07 percent decrease in their monthly bill.

The agency passed the last rate-setting in July when it approved increases ranging from 1 to 6 percent to compensate electricity providers for $14.5 million spent to purchase fuel.

Hike request pending

Good news for consumers, however, could be short-lived as ARESEP is currently evaluating two requests for hiking tariffs for next year.

ICE and CNFL, the two largest suppliers in the country, filed requests earlier this month to increase rates by 10 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

If approved rates in January would go up for 1.2 million customers of both utility companies, representing 77 percent of the local electricity market.

Contact L. Arias at larias@ticotimes.net

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