Rate increase for electricity called justified due to costs

The nation’s price regulating agency has rejected a request by the industrial chamber to reconsider including extra charges in the price of electricity.

The agency, the Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos, said that the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad was due the additional amount because of increased costs in operating the Garabito generating station.

The decision said that the state firm known as ICE had to use a more expensive diesel fuel to generate the heat to create power in February and March. The agency said that a supplier of cheaper bunker fuel provided a shipment that the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo S.A. had to reject for technical reasons.

Consequently the more expensive diesel was fed to the thermal generation system at a cost of 5.6 billion colons more. That is about $11.2 million.

ICE was not responsible for the problem, so the increased cost is justified, said the Autoridad Reguladora.

The agency also announced that it has returned a rate hike request from Riteve SyC without a decision. The firm operates the nation’s vehicle inspection stations.

The Autoridad Reguladora said it did not act on the request because it lacks the methodology to evaluate the tariffs charged by the firm, which has about 13 inspection stations around the country. The Autoridad blamed the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes and its Consejo de Transporte Público for failing to create such a system.


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