Since the company took over operations on the island one year ago, rate increases and blackouts have been constant.
As of July 1, Puerto Ricans will pay even more for electricity, after Puerto Rico’s Energy Bureau approved LUMA Energy’s seventh consecutive rate increase.
With the new increase, a household that consumes 800 kilowatt-hours, will be charged a rate of 33 cents per kWh, instead of the previous rate of 29 cents. According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average rate for electricity in the US is 14 cents per kWh.
Many Puerto Ricans expressed their anger on social media because they’re forced to pay more money for worse service due to the constant power outages that many on the island suffer on a daily basis.
LUMA Energy took over the transmission and distribution of electricity on the island in June of 2021. Since then there have been continuous power outages that affect the entire island.
In mid-June of 2022, the company asked the Bureau for the seventh increase in a year, which represents a 17.1% rise in the customers’ bills over the past year. According to LUMA, one of the reasons it requested the rate increase was higher fuel prices.
This increase will go into effect on Sept. 30.
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Puerto Rico has one of the most expensive and obsolete electrical systems in the world.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has already approved 15 projects with an allocation of $107.3 million in federal funds for the reconstruction of the island’s electrical system, but Gov. Pedro Pierluisi said that this process will take years.