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No electricity rate hikes, despite ICE request

May 13, 2015

Electricity rates will stay flat for at least two more months after the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) rejected a Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) request to increase rates by 2.3 percent starting July.

In a public statement the regulatory agency explained that ICE failed to submit mandatory information requested by ARESEP’s Energy Administration.

Among other details, ICE failed to provide justification for the proposed rate hikes and failed to specify how they would apply to residential customers and special clients, including schools, welfare centers and churches.

ARESEP said it also rejected ICE’s request to reduce by 9.5 percent the rate for “low-voltage customers,” a small group of industrial sector customers.

The regulatory agency also dismissed a similar rate reduction request for low-voltage customers filed by the National Power and Light Company (CNFL).

The last change in Costa Rica’s electricity rates came in March when ARESEP approved reductions ranging from 7 to 15 percent starting April 1.

The lower rates benefit some 1.5 million industrial, commercial and residential customers covered by eight utility companies.

On Wednesday evening ICE said it would appeal ARESEP’s ruling no later than May 15.

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