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Sen. Seilhamer: Higher Electric Bill Was Forewarned

By on June 27, 2016

SAN JUAN – The spokesman for the New Progressive Party in the Senate, Larry Seilhamer, said Monday that legislation raising Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) rates was approved knowingly.

During the discussion of Senate Bill 1523, he said it “lacked balance and only favored creditors” and that the adjustment mechanism allows automatic, successive increases.

NPP Sen. Larry Seilhamer (A screengrab of @larry.seilhamer on Facebook)

NPP Sen. Larry Seilhamer (A screengrab of @larry.seilhamer on Facebook)

“We’re seeing what we warned about on Feb. 11. The Energy Commission approved an increase to restructure Prepa’s debt that will be 3.10 cents per kilowatt-hour for residential, commercial and industrial customers. This is a mortal blow to the economy in times of such financial difficulties on the island, and definitely jeopardizes economic development and job creation in Puerto Rico,” the senator said.

Seilhamer said the adjustment mechanism in the measure’s securitization article “allows future automatic increases in a successive manner. Prepa has the door open for further increases to ensure payment to creditors if revenue expectations aren’t met, such as if power consumption declines,” which he believes “is imminent…due to the continuing mass exodus of Puerto Ricans,” and added that the legislation is “completely against renewable energy, because it will not encourage it.”

The lawmaker concluded his statement saying that “with the 4.4-cent increase per kilowatt-hour, because there is an 1.3-cent increase due to the rate revision requested by Prepa, what we are talking about is an initial blow to consumers: a 25% increase in their electric bills.”

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