Guam Power Authority announces reduced fuel surcharge beginning June 1
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Guam ratepayers will get a respite from power rate increases following the Consolidated Commission on Utilities' approval of the Guam Power Authority's recommendation for a reduction to the fuel surcharge beginning June 1 through January 2024.
According to GPA's announcement, the fuel surcharge, also known as "levelized energy adjustment clause" or LEAC, will be reduced from $0.318576/kWh to $0.248145/kWh.
"Customers will benefit from the reduction of the LEAC rate to 24.8 cents a kilowatt-hour for power consumed during this period," GPA said.
GPA said it will petition the Guam Public Utilities Commission for the approved reduction. For the average consumer who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month; this means a savings of roughly $70.43 in their monthly power bill.
“The semi-annual adjustments of the rates have been steadily increasing since mid-2021. However, as the price of world fuel costs decreases this year, GPA proposes adjusting and reducing the LEAC rate sooner," said GPA General Manager John M. Benavente.
"This drop in the LEAC rate was proposed in order to help customers recover from the rise of the LEAC rates within the last two years due to unprecedented increase of world fuel prices,” he added,
Benavente said the increase on the overall GPA average residential customer bill was necessary to reduce the under-recovery of fuel costs and to prevent further growth in the under-recovery balance and in order for GPA to afford buying fuel oil.
"While the LEAC rate has changed incrementally, the base rate of about 10 cents has not increased since 2013,” he added.
Last year, the Guam legislature created the Prugråman Ayuda Para I Taotao-ta Energy Credit Program to help provide financial relief for ratepayers starting July 2022.
The program helped bring $500 relief to ratepayers over a five-month period and was extended by Bill 357-36 (P.L. 36-123) for an additional $500 in energy credits over five additional months to help offset the increase of the LEAC rate at the time.
The program has since helped bring $52M in financial relief to ratepayers from July 2022 to April 2023. Bill 83-37, if passed into law, will once again extend the program through September 2023.
"This reduction in the LEAC rate will also help customers as families stay home for the summer, which will undoubtedly cause a surge in power usage throughout the island," GPA said.
GPA advised power users to reduce their power consumption during peak hours from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.