ICE electricity rates will rise 5.32% from July

The rise of ICE was foreseen in 15.57%; Now the adjustment will be phased in over 18 months

This decision results in a reduction in the average adjustment planned for the third quarter rate of 9.66% to 1.60%

June 27th,2014.

The rate hike light Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad ( ICE ) will be 5.32%, 15.57% less than that planned, reported Regulatory Authority of Public Services ( Aresep ) in a statement.

The decision was made yesterday by the Board of the Regulatory Authority for Public Services (ARESEP), which hosted a request from ICE to defer adjustment in electricity tariffs over a period of 18 months, instead of applying the increase once.

"This bill will allow 'flatten' rate during this period and well distributed in time additional charges arising from thermal generation, which have occurred due to the decrease in the amount of rainfall that has occurred in recent months," explained .

According to the Board, it was decided to defer the adjustment in that period for reasons of expediency, convenience and public interest. They considered it a relief that would mean for users, both corporate and households.

The adjustment will vary by retailer power: the CNFL will be 4.33% instead of 14.55%; that of JASEC, 2.71% instead of 15.14%; and ESPH, of 2.14% instead of 12.01%.

This decision results in a reduction in the average adjustment planned for the third quarter rate of 9.66% to 1.60%.

Source: La Nación


Gilberto de la Cruz: 'We have already incorporated private generation that we need'

June 25th, 2014

Given the unstoppable cost of electricity tariffs, the productive sector and authorities seek ways to stop it. One option being considered is to increase the involvement of private companies in power generation. However, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) shows some reservations.

According to you, the ICE is willing to buy from private generators "all the energy is." Did they give 455 megawatts (MW) by 2017?

Yes, that energy is already being contracted private. By 2017 they will enter three hydroelectric projects (150 MW) which were awarded several years ago, and two wind (100 MW). In late 2012 we did a contest of private generation, where we award 100 MW wind and 30 MW of hydro. On April 21 we received bids for 40 MW wind and 30 MW of hydro.

Do you agree to remove or raise the share cap (it is now 15%) of the private?

That is a political decision of the Legislative Assembly.

Sure, but do you agree?

What I say is that we have already incorporated private generation that we need. In the plan, we have determined that this is what is required in the current percentage. More private generation has to be whether it is economical and whether to incorporate.

To lower the cost of light, ask open industrial sector monopoly and so, ICE ceases to have much control.

That is an issue that has been debated in the country for 20 years and that has not been resolved and that diay, the political sector will have to solve. I am a technician. It is important that you see from other countries have opened their markets. That will teach him.

Have you considered rule and seek alternative plans Diquís hydroelectric project (in the south of the country)?

The idea now is to continue as we are, with many small projects, we do not know whether they will achieve and fossil generation, as we have now.

The Ministry of Environment and Energy (Minae) claimed in April that no perceived progress in three years and $ 129 million spent. How much more will give Diquís?

This administration needs to be solved if done or not done. The basic design stage has already been completed and are now doing the environmental impact, but lack the social viability.

The country prefer not to bet both the fall rains, but diversify generation sources.

We found that the most economical and suitable is the leading online Diquís. The route expansion, including this project, seems very appropriate, because it incorporates a source with a major reservoir, which will allow better regulate the climate problem. Not the edge of the water; if it rains a lot, keep it. If the country does not, it will be lost forever.

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Electricity rates could rise to 16% in July

June 13th,2014

An increase of up to 16% in electricity rates could impact the pocket of Costa Rican households from July.

This, if the latest proposal from the Regulatory Authority for Public Services (Aresep) for the third quarter of the year, which seeks to counter the crisis caused by the lack of rain is approved. The request is in the public consultation process.

The amount of the increase would vary by dealer. It would be 16% for customers of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) and 15% for the National Power and Light Company (CNFL). Users of the Administrative Board of Carthage Utility (Jasec) and Public Service Company of Heredia (ESPH) would pay 12% more.

A family receiving the service of ICE and consumes 200 kilowatt hours (kWh) today paid ¢ 17,400 electric bill. If passed fit, should disburse ¢ 20,184 for the same consumption.

To do the math, ARESEP included spending fuels for generation, the difference between actual income and expenditure estimates for the first quarter (¢ 45.6 million) and the tariff lag of 2012, totaling ¢ 11,000 million.

The mayor of Energy ARESEP, Juan Manuel Quesada, said the lack of rain will increase thermal generation between July and September: 128 gigawatt hours will be generated, leading to a cost of ¢ 11,642,000.

During the first quarter, the decline in hydropower production was more drastic than that recorded in the same period of the last nine years. This proposal is given just as the government examines how lower rates.

Source:La Nación.


Government will review costs of ICE to lower electricity

ARESEP renegotiate plans financiamientode proposed megaprojects

Executive hopes to have the proposal in two weeks to lower rates

June 18, 2014

As part of measures to bring down electricity rates, President Luis Guillermo Solis pledged yesterday to put under a microscope and optimizing operating costs of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE).

That means that it will review all items that affect the rate: fuel purchases for thermal power generation, spending limits, loan conditions for lifting mega millionaires monthly disbursements and operating leases.

Solis said he still checks the draft that gave days ago Carlos Obregón, president of ICE, with a series of proposals to reduce short-term energy bills. He said the decision will be made within 15 days after closing meetings with several representatives of the energy sector.

This discussion comes just when it is approved up to 16% in electricity rates, which would apply from 1. July to respond to the lack of rain.

Today, the purchase of fuel represents 21% of the cost of generation of the Institute; 18% are private generators purchases and 17% of the depreciation of assets. The latter would lower spending, according ARESEP if ICE rid of old and useless assets.

Of the total expenditures per generation, 17% is for operating leases or leases. These debts are trusts that ICE has processed to finance the construction and operation of its energy projects.

While in 2006 spent ¢ 13.726 million in respect of operating leases, last year the company invested four times more in this category: ¢ 59.823 million.

The millionaire surcharge to fund ICE five plants (three hydro, thermal and geothermal) is the main triggers the rate increase paid by Costa Ricans, according to the Mayor's Energy Regulatory Authority of Public Services (Aresep) Juan Manuel Quesada.

One of the alternatives proposed by Quesada light to achieve reductions in the short term is that the ICE renegotiate with banks financing terms of its mega projects; pursuing lower rates to the current 13% and extend payment terms over 12 years.

ARESEP reviews the generation and distribution costs of the eight power distribution companies, in order to define which costs are transferred to the user.

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Burning of fuels to generate electricity bat record

Thermal plants used 26% more liters in the first quarter of 2013

ARESEP recommended import energy to lower rates

April 11t, 2014

The first quarter of 2014 exceeded the record of the country by thermal generation through fuel combustion, the most expensive and polluting method used in times of water shortage.

During that time were disbursed ¢ 54.148 million; ie, 22 additional amount invested in the first three months of 2013%, critical-generation thermal-year history.

That happened even though the price of bunker down 19 ¢ (¢ 368 to ¢ 349) and diesel ¢ 13 (¢ 581 to ¢ 568), compared with the same period last year.

This year, the shortage of own dry season rainfall and global climate change forced the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) to burn 124 million gallons of fuel: 26% more than in the first quarter of 2013.

"Yes, here we have a record, but is expected to be even worse in 2015 (...). We will be perilously close to the limits of total generation in the country. 2015 I fear one more stress, "said Environment Minister René Castro.

The most critical moment was experienced in the first quarter of 2013, when the ICE invested 228% by burning more fuel in the first quarter of 2012. Arenal Reservoir, the largest source of energy in the country, began the year 2013 and 2014 with one of the lowest in the past seven years reserves.

Not enough. Though water generation is preferred to be cleaner and cheaper, represents 68% of national production, this is not sufficient to meet the daily needs.

Luis Pacheco, manager of the ICE, said that the country's energy matrix is ​​supported by hydropower, which is still lacking.

Compared to the first quarter of 2013, thermal energy production grew 23% this year: it went from 416 million kWh (kilowatts) to 513 million kWh.

Last year it generated a total of 1,196 GWh (gigawatt) of energy by burning - representing 12% of the total, while in 2012, the thermal production it was 9% and in 2011, 8%.

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