CUC lowers power charge


The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. is lowering its power bill this month.

In a notice issued Friday, CUC said it will be lowering its Fuel Adjustment Charge this December from $0.15063 per kilowatt hour to $0.14323 per kWh effective Dec. 1, 2016. The Fuel Adjustment Charge used to be called the Levelized Energy Adjustment Clause.

The decrease is equivalent to 4.91 percent. The FAC is one of two components that make up one’s CUC power bill. The first, FAC, reflects how much fuel costs in Singapore; the second is the electric base rate, which fund operations and projects as well as debt servicing.

With the change in the FAC charge, all residential consumers who use 500 kWh can expect to save about $3.70 in their monthly billing.

A Saipan resident, Don Cabrera, said, “I don’t really see much of a benefit from this. I do acknowledge that there is money to be saved but it is not significant enough to be really happy about. Since there are just two people in my household, we don’t use that much electricity in general. I believe this sort of thing would benefit big companies and hotels due to their large usage on electricity.”

Another resident, Rovic Caberos, said, “It’s always good to save money in any way possible but I personally don’t feel like it saves all that much. Our power bill at home has always been manageable. I’m sure in the long run I will save enough.”

CUC first instituted LEAC in 2009 to recover fuel and fuel related costs, a system also used by power providers in Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands but was ultimately altered to FAC in order to provide a more accurate description of rates. Adjustments in the FAC are made when the Mean of Platts Singapore monthly pricing equals or exceeds a 4.5 percent degree of difference on the average-per-gallon cost in fuel. MOPS is the average of a set of Singapore-based oil product price assessments published by Platts, a global energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information provider.

A fuel adjustment charge is a change in cost of power to compensate for increases or decreases, usually unanticipated, in the price of energy.

CNMI consumers have experienced an almost 54-percent decline in power prices compared to the fuel rate in mid-2014.

Adjustment will also be applicable to public outdoor street lighting service and private area lighting where CUC owns, maintains, and operates such facilities.

Michael T. Santos | Reporter

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