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Costa Rica to drop electricity rates next month

August 21, 2009

The Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) has ordered the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) to lower the cost of electricity, a move slated to enter into force Sept. 1 and continue throughout the remainder of the year.

The new rates will translate into a savings of a little more than 7 percent for consumers and will benefit consumers of all electricity providers, including ICE, the National Power and Light Company (CNFL), the cooperativas, the Administrative Electricity Service of Cartago (JASEC) and the Public Services Company of Heredia (ESPH), according to an ARESEP statement issued last week.

Regulator General Fernando Herrero stressed that the price adjustment is necessary to ensure that nationwide electrical service is properly regulated.

“Our responsibility as regulators is to assure all Costa Ricans that the prices will be adjusted up or down, depending on the movement of the costs,” Herrero said in a statement Thursday. “We are not here only to raise (rates).”

Herrero also explained that the implementation of the discount was in response to “considerably” lower demand in 2009 for diesel fuel needed to generate electricity. As the cost to generate electricity fell, Herrero said, offering a discounted rate is “fair to consumers.”

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