Panama: Increase in electricity rate will be 2% to 15%

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By LatAm Reports Editor

Electricity companies have justified this increase by pointing to problems in electricity transmission, as well as in production.

A surprising increase in the electricity tariff was announced by the Public Services Authority (Asep), which is generating concern among the Panamanian population.

This increase in the cost of the ectricity will be 2% and 15%, starting in January.

The impact will be particularly significant for consumers using more than 300 kWh, as they will face a proportionally higher increase.

Electricity companies have justified this increase by pointing to problems in electricity transmission, by a state-owned company, as well as in production, covering both hydroelectric and thermal.

Amid the public concern, Pedro Acosta, of the National Union of Consumers and Users of Panama, expressed concern about the possibility that this increase in tariffs will be reflected in the cost of food and other basic inputs.

In addition, he highlighted the lack of transparency on the part of companies, noting the presence of state and government representatives whose actions and statements are unknown to the population.

Acosta said that, although the electricity service has not been efficient, companies have an “alibi” to justify their deficiencies, attributing them to problems in transmission and production.

Despite the criticism, 7 per cent of customers will not be affected by this increase due to subsidies, such as the Rate Stabilization Fund.

In the midst of growing concerns, there is a possibility that climate events such as the phenomenon of the Child and variations in fuel prices may be additional causes of this increase in electricity tariffs.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in Panamerica