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Business sector asks for electricity-rate hikes for everyone but them

October 7, 2013

The Costa Rican Association of Large Energy Consumers (ACOGRACE) last week proposed a reduction of 10-38 percent in electricity rates for their associates.

The request would mean increases on monthly bills for residential users and those with preferential rates – such as public schools – ranging from 4.40-11 percent, the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) reported on its website.

In exchange for average consumers paying more, 1,020 members of ACOGRACE would pay less, according to ARESEP.

Costa Rican Industries Chamber President Juan Ramón Rivera told daily La Nación that [the proposal] is a “fair measure” to improve the country’s competitiveness.

The current monthly rate for 250 kilowatts – set to benefit lower income families – “is so cheap that everyone benefits, poor and wealthy families alike,” Rivera said.

Members of the business sector believe that if these measures are not enforced many foreign companies will relocate to other countries with better rates.

ACOGRACE’s request comes just days after a 13.6 percent decrease in electricity rates for customers of the state-run Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) entered into force last week.

Since then, ICE already has filed a new petition with ARESEP for a 5.56 percent hike that is currently under study.

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