Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Puerto Rico seeks power bill increase, sparking outrage

Published:Wednesday | May 25, 2016 | 5:00 AM

SAN JUAN (AP):

Puerto Rico's heavily indebted electric company is seeking a more than 20 percent increase in the island's already high power bills, sparking outrage among many.

The Electric Power Authority said yesterday the increase would allow it to keep operating amid a cash crunch. The agency said the revenue also would help restructure a US$9 billion debt load, reduce dependence on petroleum and renovate obsolete infrastructure.

The agency seeks a temporary 10 percent increase for residential customers, which would become effective in August, and an overall 23 per cent permanent hike for early 2017. A commission is expected to vote on the proposal, but if it does not act, the temporary increase goes into effect automatically.

Puerto Rico power bills are on average twice those of the US mainland.