Power rates are going up starting this month.
Effective yesterday, Oct. 1, in response to an oil price increase in the global market, the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. adjusted its Fuel Adjustment Charge rate from $0.15917 per kWh to $0.16886 per kWh.
That means residential customers who use 500 kilowatt-hour of power per month will pay approximately $4.85 more in their monthly billing.
In a statement released over the weekend, CUC said that Mobil Oil Mariana Islands, Inc., the company where it gets its fuel, that there has been a rise in the average fuel prices.
CUC is allowed by a previous order from the Commonwealth Public Utilities Commission to adjust rates based on the price of oil. Adjustments are made when the mean of platts Singapore monthly pricing equals or exceeds 4.5 percent of the average per gallon cost of fuel used in the calculation of the FAC rate.
That allowed CUC to adjust the oil price component of its charges, previously known as the Levelized Energy Adjustment Clause and now known as the FAC pass-through rate.
CUC first instituted the 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. In May 2015, the CPUC authorized CUC to change the name of LEAC to FAC to provide customers a more accurate description of the rate.
The FAC is used to purchase fuel and serves as one of the two components that make up CUC power bill. The second rate component is the electric base rate, which is used to fund operations, projects, and debt servicing.
Camacho in AZ
In other CUC news, CUC executive director Gary Camacho is currently in Phoenix, Arizona attending a Federal Emergency Management Agency conference to discuss any questions regarding the CNMI’s FEMA projects resulting from Typhoon Soudelor.
There will be some discussion regarding damage received from Typhoon Irma in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
According to Camacho, he can be of help and will be able provide information to help the other U.S. territories.
“We are very fortunate to work with a group like this for so many years. Any assistance we can provide, both physical, operational and even as far as experience, mine or anybody else’s for that matter, we are always willing to help our sister territories. That’s the one thing we have in common—we are all territories, we are all commonwealths and we understand the impact on our communities and families,” he said.
“There are a lot of challenges in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands but we have a lot of similarities. Soudelor wasn’t very long ago and, if needed, we can provide any type of assistance because our desire is to help to our sister territories,” he added.
Camacho will be back in the CNMI tomorrow, Oct. 3.