Small refund in electrical costs proposed by rate-setting agency

Following changes in the utility rates is enough to make the head swim. The Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz just asked for a rate hike of more than 30 percent.

But now the price regulating agency is proposing a cut in rate that would average about 2.72 percent. The agency, the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos, said that the reduction was due to the higher use of renewable sources to produce power. In other words, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad is not burning as much expensive petroleum.

The rate reduction or rebate would be applied from October to December and benefit 100 percent of those who receive electricity form the grid, including those serviced by cooperatives in rural areas, the agency said. The exact percentage would vary based on the distribution firm, with customers in the metro area getting reductions of more than 3 percent.

The Authoridad estimated that the average family would save about 800 colons a month due to the reduction. That is about $1.50. The proposal is the subject of a public hearing next week.

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