GPA: Energy leaseback bill to burden Guam ratepayers

The Guam Power Authority is opposing a bill that would allow Guam’s educational institutions to become non-metered customers and sell solar power to GPA, saying this would result in additional burden to ratepayers.

“While we support the intent of Bill 219-35 to expand solar energy sources, Bill 219 would have unintended consequences of increase rates for non net-metered customers, including low-income, disadvantaged and other households with no opportunity to be net metering customers,” said John Benavente, GPA's general manager.

Bill 219-35 proposes to authorize the purchase or lease-back of renewable energy purchase of service for the Department of Education, the Guam Academy Charter schools, Guam Community College and the University of Guam.” The bill would also allow these institutions to sell excess power they produce to GPA at a premium.

GPA said it would be made to pay 21 cents per kilowatt hour for energy it can produce for 9 cents, which would result in higher rates for non-net metering customers.

GPA said Bill 219-35 essentially creates a government subsidy for government only educational facilities, creating a revenue shortfall that will increase utility rates for more than 47,000 rate payers.