3 Days of Public Hearings on GPA’s Proposed Rate Hike Start TUESDAY

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Guam – The Guam Public Utilities Commission  [PUC] will conduct a series of public hearings on Guam Power Authority’s multi-year Base Rate increase starting on TUESDAY April 3.

GPA is seeking a roughly 25% increase in the Base Rate portion of your power bill. The base rate portion of your power bill makes up 30% of your bill. The remaining 70% of your bill constitutes the fuel adjustment charge.

A 25% increase on 30% of your bill would amount to between a 7-8% increase on your total power bill which would be spread out over 5 years.

The first hearing will take place in Suite 202 of the GCIC Building at  414 West Soledad Avenue in Hagatna starting at 6 pm on April 3.

PUC will also invite public comments on GPA’s petition at additional hearings, which have been scheduled for the public’s convenience in accordance with Public Law 26-23 and will be held at the following locations and times:

6:00 pm April 4, 2012 Agat Community Center             

6:00 pm April 5, 2012 Dededo Senior Citizens Center

The purpose of the public hearing will be to consider GPA’s Petition for Approval of  Multi-Year Base Rate Increases for:

a] 11.8% for the period from March 1, 2012 through September 30, 2012;

b] 1.3% for the period from October 1,2012 through September 30, 2013;

c] 10.6% for the period from October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2014;

d] 0% for the period from October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015;

e] 0% for the period from October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. 

The total rate increase over the five-year period would be 25.3%. 

The revenues requested by GPA for the five-year period are approximately $10.8 Million in FY 2012, $2.3M in FY 2013, and $18.6M in 2014.

GPA requests numerous other changes, including:

* raising of the self-insurance fund cap to $20 million

* PUC approval of certain financial targets proposed by GPA for evaluating rate increases

*  implementation of a quarterly LEAC true-up process, PUC approval of a revised Tariff M for backup and standby rates

* and approval for a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) surcharge to cover payments in the General Fund of $3.5M in FY 2012 and $875,000 annually in FYs 2013-2016. 

GPA states that a surcharge of approximately $.003623 per kWh would be necessary to cover the PILOT of $3.5 million in FY12, with some reductions in the amounts of the surcharges for FYs 13 through 16.

GPA also requests a change in the manner in which it files its demand charges so that such charges are more reflective of the cost-of-service to serve customers. 

GPA seeks authority to move toward “cost-based customer charges” in its rates. 

These “phased in” changes to rate design will likely mean that the average residential customer and lifeline customers will see their rates increase more than the average commercial customer. 

GPA believes that these changes will more fairly allocate costs so that the customer that caused the cost is responsible for paying the cost.  GPA also seeks to increase certain returned check fees and other “convenience fees.”

For a full and complete understanding of the rate changes sought by GPA, interested parties may review the GPA petition, amendments thereto, testimonies in support, and responses to discovery requests at the office of the Public Utilities Commission [Suite 207, GCIC Bldg., Hagatna]. 

The PUC’s Independent Consultant, the Georgetown Consulting Group Inc., and the United States Department of Defense, have also filed testimony regarding GPA’s petition for Multi-Year Base Rate Relief.  All such filings and testimonies may also be reviewed at the Office of the Public Utilities Commission.