ICE requests 15% more for expensive thermal energy generation

The cost of electricity could rise by 15% if approval for adjustment is made by the Aresep.

The intention of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) is to compensate with the rise in fuel bills of ¢ 23.238 million made during the first half of the year, for the production of thermal energy.

The proposal provides for an adjustment of 23.63% in power generation costs, which would impact 15% to direct customers of the entity.

The Institute claimed that need to make an immediate adjustment to its rates, it urged the Aresep give a procedure “expedient” to the request to begin effective as from October first.

The new prices would be in effect for a period of three months, then drop again.

Also will be affected the rates of customers of the Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz (CNFL) of the Public Service Company of Heredia (ESPH), the Electric Utility Management Board of Carthage (JASEC) and cooperatives rural electrification.

In its petition by the Regulatory Authority of Public Services (Aresep), ICE noted that expenditures for the purchase of bunker and diesel generation doubled budget.

Initially, the regulator were authorized expenditures of ¢ 22.686 million for the purchase of fuel throughout this year.

However, until June 30 had already been spent-fuel ¢ 40,595,000 and ¢ 5.329 million in energy imports from other markets, explained Francisco Garro, director of the Tariff Management Finance Management Institute.

The rationale is that the decline in rainfall has forced the ICE to continue operating thermal plants. These generators are providing electricity that no longer produce hydroelectric plants.

The proposal was presented on July 31.

Garro said Aresep asked additional information, which the ICE is preparing.

“Hopefully after delivery of the request for additional information, Aresep give eligibility and make the call for public hearing,” said Garro.

On July 3 came into effect an adjustment of 7.9% in the rates of generation and distribution 3.6% to recognize expenditure on fuel in 2011. The increase applies for a period of eight months.

Álvaro Barrantes, director of Energy Aresep said that from January 2013 will apply the new methodology for variable fuel charge (CVC), which seeks to review every three months, electricity rates, according to the costs fuels.