June 12, 2021

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Consumers’ representative on PREPA’s Governing Board questions the rise in electricity prices

The projected increase equivalent to 4.7 percent of the current cost.

photo: Cybernews

San Juan – The Representative of Consumers before the Governing Board of the Electric Power Authority (PREPA), engineer Tomás Torres Placa, questioned this Tuesday the projected increase in electricity for the months of January, February and March of 0.81 cents per kilowatt per hour (KWH), equivalent to 4.7 percent of the current cost.

This in accordance with the resolution and order of the Energy Bureau of December 31, 2020.

“Although the intention of the order of the Energy Bureau of December 31 is to adjust the cost of electricity based on the cost of fuel, this order makes serious indications regarding multiple inconsistencies found between the fuel costs presented by PREPA and the market costs, ”said Torres Placa in a written statement.

The order reveals that there is a gap in the fuel inventory, which has an effect on the cost that PREPA recognizes in its records, especially during the months of June, July and August 2020.

For this period, according to the data presented by PREPA for the total cost of fuel purchased versus consumed, the San Juan and Palo Seco plants had a diesel cost of $ 102 and $ 76 per barrel respectively, when the cost in the market was about $ 59 a barrel.

The adjustment in the rate requested by PREPA for the cost of fuel for the June, July and August period was an increase of 2.75 cents per KwH (approximately 16 percent of the bill).

This increase did not materialize in the October-December 2020 quarter, as the reconciliation process in terms of fuel cost was stopped until PREPA presents additional information.

Then, in November, it was reported that the Bureau hired the Larking and Associates firm to conduct an audit of the past three years of the purchase, acquisition, transportation, storage, and supervision and consumption analysis processes.

“Because these incongruities in fuel costs continue to be evaluated, the Energy Bureau should not have approved an increase until all these required reconciliations and analyzes are finally completed,” said Torres Placa.

“Any irregularity in the cost of fuel must be detected and addressed by PREPA before passing the data to the Bureau within a framework of diligence and good administration. The Bureau, on the other hand, as part of its analysis and audit, must make its findings public and make specific recommendations to eradicate once and for all the problems related to the purchase, management and the processes of supervision and analysis of fuel consumption in PREPA. that directly harm consumers with high costs ”concluded Torres Placa.

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