Ricardo Trujillo: electricity tariffs at reasonable cost

The ICE is required to meet demand regardless of the cost of the fare

June 02nd,2015

It is really inconceivable and even depressing to read the positions of both the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) and the Minister of Energy at the possibility that the Board of opposition in the Legislative Assembly revived the electric bill on contingency.

His refusal to accept that the country is experiencing an emergency in the field of high electricity tariffs is pathetic and insulting to the thousands of unemployed resulting from the closure of companies, caused first by the impact of high electricity tariffs; then by the economic slowdown they triggered such closures; and, finally, by the inaction of the current government to this social tragedy.

Electricity has become the most expensive among them have energy. The energy content of a liter of regular gasoline is 10 kilowatt hours and costs ¢ 600 today, including the 30% tax.

This means that the unit cost of a kilowatt-hour is 60 ¢. While the same kilowatt-hours of energy delivered by the ICE in their service areas varies between 84 ¢ and 150 ¢, excluding the 13% tax.

It is therefore not mere coincidence that the vast majority of food businesses in the country have migrated to propane for cooking.

Who still cooks with wood, as in the nineteenth century, enjoys a much higher savings, although it contributes negatively to the country's deforestation.

Lower costs. The current legal obligation ICE is meet demand regardless of the cost of the fare, so it is very easy for them to justify the high level they have reached their tariffs, which define as "reasonable" term that implies for them a little or no concern to reduce what they pay subscribers.

When ICE was founded, the legal obligation that was given was producing at cost, which at that time was understood as the minimum cost, since the rate would be deprived of a lucrative profit.

That electricity cost was for Costa Rica, for decades, a great competitive advantage over our closest neighbors and trading partners, but we lost several years and finally ended negatively impacting the entire social fabric.

Currently, ICE is required by a presidential directive of the Chinchilla administration to buy electricity produced by private generators at the lowest cost market, but unfortunately there is a legal ceiling of 15% tax for 25 years in the 7200 Act, which higher purchases which prevents private producer of that at minimum cost.

Raise production ceilings to the private sector and make the presidential directive into law of the Republic are now the only legal resources to help the Costa Rican Electricity Institute to continue purchasing and delivering low-cost power.

(*) Former President of the AIEEE

Source: 'La Nación'


Electricity rates will fall between 2% and 8% from July

June 25th, 2015

ARESEP approved a reduction of 13.6% in prices for energy generation ICE, implying a lowering of between 2.5% and 8.5% rates of seven power distributors in the country, from July .

Thus, prices for subscribers of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) will fall by 7.9%, while the National Power and Light Company and the Public Service Company of Heredia (ESPH) will fall by 8 5%. The Administrative Board of Cartago Electrical Services (Jasec) apply a reduction of 8.3%.

The new setting implies a 2.5% cheaper for customers Coopelesca; Coopesantos 5.2% to 7.4% and for Coopealfaroruiz.

For example, for a family that consumes 250 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month, adjusting means a monthly saving of ¢ 2,018, if user of ICE, and ¢ 1,543 client if the CNFL.

Coopeguanacaste be the only distributor to apply an increase of 4.7%. This because, according ARESEP during the process of extraordinary adjustment was approved for the company a regular study, in order to offset their energy purchases ICE.

The new prices approved by the Regulatory Authority for Public Services (Aresep) governed from 1 July to 30 September.

Why low? This setting is relevant to the methodology of the variable cost of fuel (CVC), which depends on oil expenditure incurred by the ICE for thermal generation during the previous quarter.

In this case, the reduction in burning fossil fuels was reflected in a drop in generation costs ICE and, therefore, results in a lowering of the energy the Institute sells to distribution companies. According ARESEP, projected spending on fuel for the third quarter of 2015 is 80% lower than estimated for this purpose in December 2014, which corresponds to transfer that benefit to electricity users.

Source: 'La Nación'


ARESEP handles reductions until 8.5% in electricity rates

Decrease is due low in thermal generation by ICE

June 11th, 2015

The Regulatory Authority for Public Services (Aresep) filed a reduction of 14% in rates of power generation ICE, implying a decrease of 2.5% and 8.5% rates of eight electricity distributors from the country.

Thus, the rates for subscribers of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) would fall by 8%, while the National Power and Light Company would fall by 8.5%, as the Company of Public Utilities Heredia (ESPH). Jasec, meanwhile, apply discounts of 8.3%.

The proposal involves ARESEP 2.5% cheaper for customers Coopelesca; 5.2% for Coopesantos; Coopeguanacaste 6.1% to 7.4% and for Coopealfaro.

This price change was subject to public consultation and, if approved, would apply from 1 July until September.

Why reductions? This setting is relevant to the methodology of the Variable Cost of Fuel (CVC), which depends on the fuel costs that made ​​the ICE thermal generation during the previous quarter.

In this case, the thermal reduction is reflected in lower cost of generation of ICE and therefore must result in a lowering of the energy the Institute sells to distribution companies.

Juan Manuel Quesada, mayor of Energy ARESEP said that the proposal also affected imports of cheaper energy from the Regional Electricity Market (MER), made by ICE during the study period.

"ARESEP has a tariff methodology which allows users to timely transfer the benefits resulting from reduced use of fuels for electricity generation and to ensure continuity of service," said Quesada this afternoon, by a press release.

Source: 'La Nación'


ICE ARESEP rejects request to increase electricity tariffs

Entity requested increase of 2.26%, but did not provide complete information

May 13th,2015

The Regulatory Authority for Public Services (Aresep) rejected the request for an increase in electricity rates of 2.26% which had raised the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE).

This application included residential and social institutions such as schools and churches rates.

The increase request filed by ICE was rejected by the non-delivery of information requested by the Administration of Energy.

ARESEP said ICE's request also included a reduction of 9.46% in the rate of low voltage (which includes a small portion of the domestic industry) in which a number of inconsistencies were identified with regard to the intended settings and lack of justification for a further increase in their income.

For its part, the CNFL requested the creation of a new rate of medium voltage (TMTB), but withdrew the proposal last May 6, 2015, so it was shelved.

Source: "La Nación"


Coopesantos applies increase of 8.7% in electricity tariff

April 21st,2015

The 42,000 subscribers of the Coopesantos electric cooperative, which covers 120 communities in nine cantons, disbursed an additional 8.7% on their electricity bills.

Starting next month, an average family which consume 150 kilowatt hours (kWh) month- it will cancel ¢ 11,400 to ¢ 12,392.

The percentage increase is the same for the subscribers of the general preferential and industry, as approved by the Regulatory Authority for Public Services (Aresep).

With this setting, the regulator seeks Coopesantos compensate for rising 22.32% suffered in the price of electricity sold ICE him from September 2014 to February.

We also recognize the rise of 23.2% in the fee for use of the electricity distribution network during the same period.

In solving ARESEP, the Municipality of Energy recognized that Coopesantos could suffer damages in its financial balance is not approved adjustment to users Mora, Acosta, Aserrí, Homeless, León Cortés, Carthage, El Guarco, Dota and Tarrazú.

The assistant manager of the cooperative, Mario Patricio Solis said that the increase is not "so high" because each year only acquire 35% of the energy of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) and pay a 66% transport energy. This, thanks to have their own projects water and wind generation.

For example, during 2014, the Institute Coopesantos bought 38,474 megawatt hours (MWh), equivalent to 35% of the electricity demand of their subscribers. On their own, through water and wind projects, the company generated 71,583 MWh (65.04%).

The deputy Coopesantos recalled that the second quarter will be added to the 0.57% rate corresponding to the formula variable cost fuels (CVC) fee to cover what it spends on fuel ICE.

Source: 'La Nación'


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