Screen_Shot_2014-05-06_at_7.42.51_PMAnd amidst all the bad news there is a bit of good news to share with you tonight especially in these hard economic times.

Belizeans are to see a reduction in their electricity bill. That announcement was made yesterday by the Public Utilities Commission who has approved a minimal reduction in electricity rates, after carefully following the Annual Review Proceeding submitted by Belize Electricity Limited earlier this year.

According to the PUC the rate presently stands at 0.04465 cents per kilowatt per hour. A 0.0165 cents reduction has been applied to the rate, cutting it down to what now consumers will be paying 0.04300 cents per kilowatt per hour.

BEL had predicted a little over ninety three million, three hundred thousand in regulating assets value; however the Public Utilities Commission has reduced that figured by approximately seventeen million dollars.  After carefully reviewing the annual proceedings by BEL, in a press briefing John Avery, Chairman at the Public Utilities Commission spoke about the corrections of the retroactive formula used from the period of July 1st 2012 to June 30th, 2013.


John Avery - Chairman at the Public Utilities Commission

All of these decisions we’ve done since the FTP started in 2012, we’ve spread out the corrections over the remainder of the FTP. In many instances, because they were so huge, if you were to put them in one year, it would either have B.E.L. reporting this fifty or sixty million in profit or thirty or forty million in losses which doesn’t makes sense. So it is best to put keep the company on an even keel than keep things without wild swings from here to here noh. So that is why we normally do the corrections over the remainder of the full tariff period.”


“So are you indicating to us that down the road there can be further..”

John Avery - Chairman at the Public Utilities Commission

“…Corrections in favor of consumers. We are still operating right now, for this period, on projections for cost of power—for the couple months of this year that we have received reports—the actual cost is still lower. So what we have in there for cost of power, we would probably still be lower than that by the time the year is finished; however, we can’t go and make final corrections on a period that isn’t completed as yet. So that will be addressed when we review rates again. Whatever excess or shortfall that may occur within this current six months we are in, it is only after it is completed that we can make the corrections.”

Despite that the calculations between the PUC and the Belie Electricity Limited are different and don’t always match, Avery claims that they use a rate setting methodology that they apply when they are calculating.


“Sir from a consumer’s perspective, who operates from a position of relative ignorance much like myself and for whom this entire opex and all these things are completely hanging in your cloud, how would you explain man, B.E.L. ask for an average of forty-three cents…”

John Avery - Chairman at the Public Utilities Commission

“…and we come up with forty-three point four-seven. We have a rate setting methodology that we apply and we try to apply it consistently. I can’t tell you as I said earlier; I can’t tell you the exact reason why B.E.L. came up with forty-three cents, but I mean every time, it is just like in December, B.E.L. recommended a three cent reduction. After we did our calculations and put it in our thing, we came up with forty-four point six five; so we were one cents lower than them. This time, they recommended forty-three cents, we apply our methodology consistently as we do every time and we came up with forty-three point four-seven. Now, as I said, if you look at what we did, we basically reduced everything they projected, yet we still came up with a higher figure than them. I can’t say how they came up with forty-three; all I can tell you is that the forty-three point four-seven is based on our methodology that we try to apply consistently.”

The General Public has until May 12th to submit any comments on the Annual review Proceeding. If no considerable objections are received, Belizeans should see the new rates go into effect on July first. And while the public is asked to submit their comments Belize Electricity Limited is reviewing the PUC’s decision. In a release issued today BEL states that it is pleased that the PUC’s initial decision also proposes a reduction in electricity rates, which amounts to a 1 per cent deviation from BEL’s proposal.


This decision, quote unquote “allows BEL to fulfill its Mission to provide reliable electricity at the lowest sustainable cost.” The release further states that the company will be meeting with its Management team to review the PUC’s entire decision, including the five schedules approved, to determine the possible implications of the PUC’s decision on BEL’s Five Year Investment Plan. BEL will submit its written comment to the PUC by May 12, as required under the ARP.

Share this post