Rate-setting agency predicts lower power costs

The price regulating agency came out with a surprise Wednesday and said that electrical rates would average about 5.5 percent lower next year.

But electrical customers probably should not count on that happening. The agency, the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos, said that the rates still are subject to review every three months. Just last week the agency denied a request by major power users to reduce those rates at the expense of residential customers. The agency also has trimmed rate increase requests submitted by the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, the primary generator.

Wednesday the agency said that the rates would be lower because the estimate of the price of fuel is lower. During the dry season the major generating company, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, burns a petroleum product to keep the generators moving. Lower water levels tend to restrict hydro generators.

So if the price of petroleum goes up, so will electrical rates. The company known as ICE is  quick to bring such changes to the attention of the Autoridad.

Only customers of two cooperatives, Coopelesca and Coopesantos. will not see a rate cut.

In addition to generating power, ICE distributes electricity, too. It’s customers will see a 4.81 reduction, the Autoridad said.

Much of the Central Valley is serviced by an ICE subsidiary, the Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz.

Those customers will benefit from a 8.75 percent cut.

Heredia power customers will see a 7.33 percent cut. But in Cartago the reduction will be miniscule.

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