Third increment of utility credit scheduled for September billing
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Residential customers of the Guam Power Authority can expect a third increment of the monthly $100 energy credit to be applied to their September billing.
The credit offsets the increases in the levelized energy adjustment clause, or LEAC.
Established by Public Law 36-106, the Prugråman Ayuda Para I Taotao-ta Energy Credit Program provides up to $500 in credit to GPA customers for each active account. The credit will be disbursed in $100 increments each month from July through November. GPA General Manager John M. Benavente noted that the $100 monthly credits help to offset the LEAC increases, a second step LEAC increases 30 cents per kilowatt-hour, approved by the PUC on June 16, effective for meters read on or after Sept. 1, which equates to an additional 12.72 percent increase in the total bill or about $44.41 to the average residential power bill, which averaged $42.12 per household in July and August. “Customers have expressed their appreciation for seeing the first two credits applied quickly to their July and August bills,” Benavente said.
“We’ve received a lot of questions about how the credit is applied. It will show up automatically from the July through November bills. It cannot be transferred or redeemed for cash. Unused credits will remain in the accounts until they are used up," he added.
Benavente noted that if customers see increases in their bills, GPA recommends that they take a look at their energy consumption compared to previous months and see how they can reduce it.
Benavente said GPA's Clean Energy Master Plan places the utility on target to achieve 50 percent renewable energy generation by 2030 and 100 percent by 2045.
He added that savings from the new Mangilao solar farm are already being realized but aren’t apparent to ratepayers due to the steep rise in global fuel costs. “Until the new Ukudu Power Plant is commissioned, we will continue to work efficiently to reduce costs where we can lessen the burdens on our customers," Benavente said. "We are pleased to have the Mangilao solar power plant online, which has been generating cost-effective energy to meet a portion of the island’s demand during the day. This also helps to offset the previous and current fuel oil purchases."
James Borja, customer service manager at GPA, said he has been working with customers to help them reduce their bills through effective energy-saving measures.
“We are seeing similar issues worldwide, and our GPA customer service team has been providing more tips and insight about how our customers can decrease their consumption," Borja said. "By adopting specific and positive habits, customers can play an active role in reducing their power bills.”
He said simple tasks such as managing how and when appliances are used can affect monthly costs.
"Consider replacing appliances that pull the greatest energy in a home – water heaters, air conditioners, washers, and dryers – with more energy-efficient models when the time is right. It can also save them money over the life of the appliance," Borja said.
GPA has also launched its online Energy Senserebate application portal on GPA’s website to make applying for qualified appliance rebates easier and quicker.
“Customers can process, manage, and receive their rebates even quicker. For residential customers, rebates range from $100 to $800 depending on the approved appliance purchased,” Borja said. “We welcome customers to reach out to our customer service team if they are interested in learning how they can significantly reduce their consumption and save money on their power bills. We are here to help.”