Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Puerto Rico electric utility fills consumer rep board seat

By on March 14, 2019

Sole candidate to certified after a year since seeking appointment

Tomás J. Torres Placa
(Screen capture of www.icsepr.org)

SAN JUAN – After more than a year, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) finally has a board member to represent customers. On March 12, the Consumer Affairs Department (DACO by its Spanish acronym) certified Tomás J. Torres as the Consumer Interest Representative to Prepa’s governing board.
He was the only person who sought nomination for the position.

“Our goal is to work on aspects that include open and transparent processes in the service of consumers, active participation of all consumers within the energy model, including power generation (“prosumers”) and efficiency and demand management programs; agile and expeditious interconnection, minimize the cost of energy, and development of a resilient and reliable system that ensures the supply of energy to all consumers during climatic events, and a system where renewable energy plays a predominant role, reducing emissions in compliance with state and federal regulations,” he said in a statement.

The board seat had been vacant for several months before Torres, an engineer, filed his candidacy on Jan. 29, 2018. Torres sued DACO and the Ombudsman Office last year to compel his certification as the utility’s consumer rep.

Torres maintains he has complied with the legal process, becoming the only candidate for the position, but instead of certifying him as such, DACO Secretary Michael Pierluisi initiated a new process to select Prepa’s consumer representative. At a hearing, DACO admitted he was the only candidate for the job and then issued Torres’s certification this month.

“In summary, we have the duty to promote a resilient and reliable system, seeking a high level of transparency with the participation of consumers in the generation of energy, which results in the general reduction of costs at all levels and in opportunities for employment and economic growth,” said Torres, who is also the executive director of the Institute of Competitiveness and Economic Sustainability (ICSE-PR).

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