Today, Thursday, the Puerto Rico Bureau of Energy (NEPR) approved a 16.8% increase in the electricity bill requested by LUMA Energy, the company responsible for operating the island’s power transmission and distribution system.
The increase will be effective from January 1, 2022 to March 31, 2022.
The information was reflected in a 20-page resolution issued by the Board of Directors this afternoon.
As a result, the entity authorized an increase”36,708 cents per kilowatt-hour, not the 4,053 cents required.”
The President of NEPR, Edison Aviles Deliz, expressed in a press release that “the role of the (Power of Puerto Rico) office is to strike a balance in the public interest. This means ensuring that exorbitant expenditures do not pass to the consumer, but it still means avoiding actions that bankrupt an authority (Electric Energy) )”.
He added that “fuel costs have increased, and this requires an amendment to ensure the continued operation of the electrical system.”
He explained that “the elements most affected by this amendment are the rise in the prices of oil derivatives in international markets and deviations from the scheduled economic schedule.”
“The main reasons why NEPR did not authorize the requested increase were $233,211.80 in funds from ARPA (American Bailout Act of 2021), as well as $14,058,921.05 in additional cost related to the use of diesel instead of gas in Units 5 and 6 of the project. PREPA in San Juan from June to November 2021.”
It was also noted that the allocation of funds from the ARPA “reduced the cost in the previous quarter from 23.63 to 21.83 cents per kilowatt-hour. The cost for the next quarter would be 25.50 cents per kilowatt-hour. These rates are calculated for example for a residential client consuming 800 kilowatt-hours per month.”
“Our electrical system continues to rely on fossil fuels and plants with poor efficiency factors. This combination is a killer when fuel prices rise dramatically as they have in the past few months. This quarterly exercise should be a reminder of the need to modernize the electrical system and develop renewables in Puerto Rico,”
The next quarterly review will take place at the end of March 2022.