Commonwealth Utilities Corp. executive director Gary Camacho said autonomous agencies like the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. have been slowly settling their accounts, making their payables current.
“We receive payments and we’ve got a wonderful payment programs with [the Public School System] and other autonomous agencies and with the central government,” said Camacho.
“The Governor’s Office and the Secretary of Finance [Larrisa Larson] have been working with CUC in the last couple of months. They work the arrears down to a current, roughly to about $1.9 million, which brings down their accounts to current.”
PSS, the central office, and public schools spends at least $2 million a year and are slowly settling their dues with CUC.
Camacho said they are also working with CHCC and the Commonwealth Ports Authority “in addressing their arrears. There are some things that we’re working out and it has to be a little creative because both parties’ interests have to be addressed.”
“But, by the same token, like any other customer, services have to be paid. I think we need to be fair across the board as we are with all residential and commercial customers. We have to be the same with the government.”
CHCC recently had a groundbreaking on a Photovoltaic System Parking Shade Structure at the Commonwealth Health Center parking lot, a project that chief executive officer Esther L. Muña said would lessen their electricity costs.
“So we all know the situation with CHCC and CUC, that there’s obviously a lot of expenditures. We spend about $300,000 a month on power consumption. So any reduction basically is savings,” said Muña.
She added every penny saved by the hospital would be beneficial to all. “It definitely benefits the organization, CUC, and the patients overall. We’re working with them to reconcile our accounts. There’s some discussion on the actual amount owed. We’re working with them.”
Muña said they expect to save as much as $700,000 from their utility bills once the solar project at the hospital’s grounds is completed by next year. The Department of the Interior-Office of Insular Affairs helped fund the project, a $560,000 grant that would be completed in April 6, 2019.