Minae wins pulse ARESEP: Attorney dictates that distributed generation to consumption is not public service

ARESEP argued that law provided that itself was a public service

Ministry must enhance service regulation for regulation

July 02nd,2015

The Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) won the pulse of the Regulatory Authority for Public Services (Aresep) and the Attorney General's Office (PGR) ruled in a report that the distributed generation for self-consumption small (solar panels or wind turbines ) is not a public service, as established by the regulator.

After consultation of the chief of the ministry, Edgar Gutierrez, the PGR in its report C-165-2015, dated June 25, 2015, it indicates that the "provision is a key element of activity in public service, so an activity that is not of benefit to the public can not be considered public service. That is the case of the distribution of electricity for self-consumption ".

ARESEP argued that legally distributed generation for consumption (known as single netting) was a public service . Arguing that would connect to the distribution network by Regulation Poasen defined technical conditions that were required and only remained the authorization certificate from Minae.

For PGR, it is not a public service because it is not intended to supply power to the end users and points to the ministry as the lead agency to be defined by public policy. Specifically, the policy also distributed generation.

"The PGR does is confirm the position that the ministry had distributed generation to consumption is not a public service, therefore the consumption need not be regulated by ARESEP" said Gutierrez minister.

Regulation almost ready

The Minae already has ready a regulation on this issue due out for consultation in the coming days. This should include some views targeted by the PGR and once you go through the consultation mechanisms will be the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC) to set the regulatory standard.

"Netting is simply consumption, ie no sale of energy to anyone. I generate solar or wind power, the use and if I need the use of the network, like any user (...) One of the options is that I generate energy, stored in a battery and used later ( ...) If I have, I am connected to the network and the distributor where I live have to set the fees to be paid; either toll interconnection backup or "described the hierarch.

ARESEP chasing canceled the subscriber monthly cost of access to the network, established a tariff schedule in effect at the time of billing. Distributed Generation concession (referred to as compound netting) provides that if the person produces more than it consumes, the distribution company must pay.

"Yes there is a sale of service, I am generating and injecting into the network. In this sense whether it should be regulated by ARESEP "he added the minister.

Interpretation of law

Gutierrez said that after hearing an opportunity to Dennis Melendez, General ARESEP regulator, 'understood' that the agency did not want to work in the simple netting. "It understood that he had to work on that and I should be the Minae" outlined.

"At some point you are right, there is a logical sense, ARESEP is the regulatory and the big question was if I generate energy for their own consumption should be considered a public service. Took the next step, to do so by decree before the State Attorney (PGR) told us that this was the path to follow, "said the official.

Erick Rojas, vice president of the Chamber of Distribution Companies Energy and Telecommunications (CEDET) who acuerparon to Minae, they said satisfied in the sense that the PGR 'waist puts' to ARESEP and tells you the rules, along with issued rates, no reason.



Advocacy: ICE overstates costs by asking rate adjustment

January 19th,2015

The Advocacy said this afternoon against the tariff rebalancing who asked ICE to ARESEP, considering that the Institute exaggerated the cost structure when calculating the adjustment.

Late last year, ICE has asked the Regulatory Authority for Public Services (Aresep) increased 13.2%, in recognition of a rise in energy purchases from private generators and the regional electricity market. This adjustment is being processed by the regulator.

According to the defense body, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) granted the request based on the first half of 2014 and did not take into account the second, in which the economic situation varied completely. This refers mainly to the sustained decline in the international price of oil.

"The current proposal of ICE overstates the growth of the cost structure of 2014 and for the years 2015 and 2016, with consequent injury to the end user of energy," said the Ombudsman through a press release.

He added that in the setting approved as it stands, rises "disproportionate and unjustified" in relation to the expected economic situation for 2015 would be generated.

The Advocay also called the Institute underspending of a high percentage of investments authorized by ARESEP in 2010-2013 resources. This is another reason why, according to the body, should rechazársele the claim.

Carolina Mora, ARESEP spokeswoman, said the claim of the Ombudsman will be taken into account in the process of public hearing, which took place today. The results will be presented to the public in about a month.

"The hearing process is precisely for these arguments;. Each will be analyzed and even within a month will determine whether the setting is appropriate or not must review and study all the papers," said Mora.

ICE defends. Francisco Garro, director of ICE Financial Planning, said that the Ombudsman mixes concepts, categories and percentages should not be added because they correspond to different services and systems.

"The request of the Ombudsman to reject the application ARESEP reflecting all is ignorance that has that institution on tariff components," said Garro.

The alleged under-execution of budget, Randall Retana, head of the Corporate Division of Strategy and Business Development ICE Group, said:. "We exceeded almost all the goals outlined in the National Development Plan in generation, distribution and transmission This represented a enormous technical and budgetary challenges that led to the development of large investments. "

When the application for adjustment of 13.2%, Carlos Obregon, president of the Institute, said that this will be offset by an equivalent percentage decrease in the Variable Cost of Fuel (CVC) due to reduced fuel purchases during 2015. That is why, he said, approval would not affect current rates paid by users.

Maintain stable electricity rates was the promise made Obregon hand with President Luis Guillermo Solis, from the beginning of his term last year.

Editor's Note: This information was modified at 6 pm

Source: "La Nación"


Plan proposes to pay to municipalities for housing electric plants

ICE, Chamber of Industry and Acope object canon since electricity rate will rise

July 2nd,2015

Municipalities receive money per kilowatt hour (kWh) generated power projects operating in their canton, if a bill is being discussed in the Legislative Assembly approves.

The initiative seeks to 19,119 local governments perceive a penny per kWh sold, no matter what source is generated. That is, it would apply to hydroelectric, wind, geothermal and biomass, both state and private projects.

Was the deputy Jorge Rodriguez, the Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC), who presented the text to be discussed in the Committee on Economic Affairs of the Congress Party.

His purpose, he said, is to "justice" and compensate all cantons suffering economic and social damage for hosting these works.

The document, in the legislative process since May 2014 provides that the fee would be collected by the Ministry of Finance and would be used for the repair and maintenance of roads and infrastructure, as well as social and environmental preservation programs.

"The law would not be retroactive and would not apply to small producers of solar energy (distributed generation). There are doubts about whether a penny or one colon will be charged, "said Congressman rojiazul.

Rodriguez, former mayor of Paraíso de Cartago, insisted that the municipalities themselves are capable of running the resources flowing into its coffers. Weeks ago, however, the Comptroller General of the Republic revealed severe underutilisation of funds by local governments.

How do you receive? The main concern of the sectors is that the new tax encarecería even more electricity rates paid by consumers.

This was confirmed by Dennis Melendez, chief of the Regulatory Authority for Public Services (Aresep). He said if the generation is taxed, the payments would be "unmanageable" for producers and the impact on prices would be "significant".

In 2014, they would have raised with canon ¢ 50,000 million, which surpasses all the expenditure for operating and maintaining the system of generation of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE).

According contributions of Luis Pacheco, manager of the Institute, the source that would provide more money to the municipalities would be hydroelectric, because its plants 66% of electricity (6.717 billion kWh) generated.

The second would be heavier geothermal, which produces 15.2% (1.538 billion kWh). Followed by thermal, responsible for 10% (1.043 billion kWh) and wind, with 7% (735 million kWh).

Carlos Obregon, president of ICE, said that electricity production (in the case of the entity) has no profit, so all the money generated need for investment.

Mario Alvarado, director of the Costa Rican Association of Power Producers (ACOP), rejected the plan. It argues that the private sector pays the taxes that domestic firms canceled.

"The rates of electricity service, as a public service are established under the principle of the service cost. Taxes would be an additional cost and will move no doubt to the end user, "Alvarado said.

The initiative also convinces Gilberto Monge, Mayor of Mora and vice president of the National Association of Mayors and Municipalities (NHAI). He rescues "the spirit" of the plan, but believes that the money that they would turn very little and not worth creating conflict between sectors. He added that the municipalities did not propose the text and they were not consulted.

Obregon, Alvarado and Enrique Egloff Monge, president of the Chamber of Industry, oppose further load electricity rates because rather, the country has been seeking desperate measures by lowering them and improving employment and competitiveness

Read more: 'La Nación'


Electricity increased 6% for 520,000 subscribers of CNFL

January 15th,2015

The monthly electricity bill will rise 6.7% to about 520,000 subscribers of the National Power and Light Company (CNFL).

With this, an average family consumes 250 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month will pay ¢ 1,100 additional: your receipt will rise from ¢ 18,250 to ¢ 19,350.

The increase was approved by the Regulatory Authority for Public Services (Aresep) and will come into effect after publication in the Official Gazette this week.

Although an increase was endorsed, this was not as significant as that requested by the Company on October 10.

The company asked by 12.37%, with the justification that they should recognize the energy that will buy the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) during 2015, besides the lag in the Variable Cost of Fuel (CVC).

It also requested an additional 6.21% for "own resources" and a fee for service reconnection (would have spent ¢ 550 to ¢ 5,931).

The regulatory body recognized him only 6.67% for energy purchases for distribution: about ¢ 252,000 million.

The rest was rejected for alleged omissions and errors in the tariff analysis, which prevent ARESEP check and have backed internal costs.

"There are gaps and contradictions; no remuneration, costs for service centers, the investment plan ... are justified, "said Carolina Mora, spokeswoman ARESEP.

Such deficiencies ARESEP forced to ask the entity additional information and greater precision in future pricing requests.

The Company said yesterday that it had not yet received the official statement ARESEP, so it would not refer to the topic.

Last year, the CNFL revealed that passes through a severe financial crisis. Continue as is, expects to close the next four years in the red. Its deficit would rise from ¢ 12,300 million (in 2014), to ¢ 36,000 million in 2018.

Source: 'La Nación'




Electricity distributors must pay up to 60 ¢ per kWh for small producers

Entities are required to buy clean energy subscribers

May 22nd, 2015

The electricity distribution companies are required to pay between 54 ¢ and 60 ¢ small generators for every kilowatt hour (kWh) to produce and contribute to the national grid from renewable sources such as solar, hydro and wind.

This was established by the Regulatory Authority for Public Services (Aresep) and applies only to those attached to the Poasen (Planning, Operation and the National Electric System Access) standard micro. The distributors are forced to buy clean energy to produce their subscribers.

Purchase prices vary by company: The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) will pay 58 ¢ per kWh; National Power and Light Company (CNFL), ¢ 60; the Administrative Board of the Municipal Electric Service Carthage (Jasec), ¢ 58, while the Public Service Company of Heredia (ESPH) will pay 59 ¢.

Coopelesca, meanwhile, will spend 54 ¢ per kilowatt hour; Coopeguanacaste, 55 ¢; Coopesantos, and Coopealfaroruiz 56 ¢, 54 ¢.

These rates will remain in force during this year.

Outstanding. Although they are ready selling prices, it is still possible that new generators are connected to the National Electricity System (SEN). This possibility ceased since February, when ICE concluded the pilot plan to allow connection of solar panels to the grid.

By ARESEP, it remains to establish the access and interconnection rates, while the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) has yet to clarify how permits or concessions to those wishing to connect will be awarded.

The Minae claims that it is expecting a statement from the Attorney General's Office regarding the methodology of the authorization certificates.

Meanwhile, Carolina Mora, ARESEP spokeswoman said the company has worked on time since the Poasen rule, in April last year, issued and outstanding fees will later this month.

"The rules must be clear to all participants (generators and distributors), and must ensure the provision of adequate manner," said Mora.

Source: "La Nación"

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