Electricity rate go up by 16.8%

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

It may be possible that citizens will have to allocate more money toward their electricity bill. Electricity rates are going up by almost 17 percent in 2013. The rates will be going from 41.6 cents to 48 cents per kilowatt hour a total of 16.8 percent. According to the Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), John Avery, this increase is a must to sustain electricity for the population.

Due to low rainfall levels this year paired with an increase in cost of power production Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) was forced to buy power from out of Mexican neighbors at 32 cents higher than the price BEL sell to the public. John Avery, Chairman ofPUCsays “The power from BAL (Belize Aquaculture Ltd) was at 73.96 cents per kilowatt hour. So basically BEL was selling at an average of 41.61 cents; meaning that they were losing 32 cents every time they sold 1 kilowatt hour of energy from BAL. From their diesels, the average price was 59.48 cents, from it was turbine, the average price was 60.78 cents. There were some significant losses. All in all BEL is projected to spend some 45 million dollars more in cost of power than was projected up to the end of December 2012.”

The new rate will go into effect as of January 2013, even thou it was not the price point BEL hoped to achieve. BEL was actually asking for 55.7 cents per kilowatt hour. As to the high price at which Mexico is selling us power, Prime Minster Barrow hopes that they can achieve a reduction to the cost through diplomatic means. For now all the public can do is find sustainable ways to minimize unnecessary use of power to cope with the increased price.

The following are some tips on how to conserve electric power:

  • Turn off any lights you do not need.
  • Use compact fluorescent light (CFL) and light emitting diode (LED) bulbs. CFLs and LED bulbs burn up to 75 and 85 per cent less electricity, respectively than regular incandescent light bulbs.
  • Do not put your refrigerator or freezer next to a cooker, stove, and oven or in the sun.
  • Load and unload your refrigerator as quickly as possible. Do not leave the refrigerator door open for longer than you need.
  • Never put hot food in a refrigerator or freezer. Let it cool first.
  • Always try to put a full load of laundry into your washing machine or tumble dryer.
  • If the weather is fine, dry your laundry outside instead of in clothes dryer.

Do as much clothes ironing as possible in one session.

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