ELECTRICITY bills paid by 1.2 million subscribers around the country could increase 6.5-14.5%, depending on where they live, the daily La Nación reported.
The National Light and Power Company (CNFL) has asked the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) for a 6.5% increase for its 420,000 customers in San José and outlying areas of Heredia, north of San José, and Cartago, east of the capital, in order to cover a foreseen deficit and increase investment.
The Public Services Company of Heredia (ESPH), which provides service in downtown Heredia, has asked for a 7.1% increase, while other providers throughout the country have asked for increases as high as 14.5%, the daily reported.
Furthermore, these increases could be even greater because the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) has asked ARESEP for an 18-22% increase in the amount it charges CNFL and other electricity distribution companies. This could result in more increases passed on to consumers because these companies purchase all, or nearly all, their electricity from ICE, La Nación reported.
ICE also has asked ARESEP for a 14.5% increase in the price it charges its 500,000 customers to which it directly sells electricity – an increase of an average ¢1,000 ($2) a month.
The Ombudsman’s Office issued a statement Monday objecting to an increase for CNFL, on the grounds that the institution has not provided sufficient data to justify the increase.