Dry season causes an increase in electrical rates

The dry season reliance on the generation of electricity by burning oil means an increase.

The Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos said the new rates for home users would increase the monthly energy bill by about 7 per cent. The Autoridad used an example of a home user paying 23,500 colons a month.

The cost under the new rates would be about 25,200 colons or about a 7 percent increase.
The Autoridad said the per kilowatt rate would go from 81 to 87 colons a kilowatt.

The agency said that the dry season had been tough on the power generator, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad and that the state company had to import power via the regional energy market.

Importing power is far cheaper at $100 a megawatt compared to the cost of thermal production at $444 for the same amount of electricity, said the agency.

The rate setters also have to deal with the increase in the value of the dollar against the Costa Rican colon. Purchases of petroleum for the thermal generators and the purchase of electricity are denominated in dollars. And the dollar has just increased sharply against the colon.

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