CNMI Power Utility Expects “Severe” Shortfall in Revenue

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Guam – Due to last month’s government shutdown and work-hour cuts implemented among government employees, the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. is expecting a severe drop in its revenue this fiscal year.

In a testimony pre-filed with the Commonwealth Public Utilities Commission, CUC chief financial officer Chuck Warren said he has no doubt the CNMI’s economic condition will continue to deteriorate for at least the next two years, adversely impacting the utility firm’s operations.

He said underfunding CUC’s operations in the hope that the CNMI’s economic situation will improve in the near future would only exacerbate the problems the CNMI has experienced with its power system.

CUC last week filed a petition to increase its electric base rate to address the $5.6 million projected loss this fiscal year. The utilities commission will review the request and is expected to come up with a decision in March 2011.

CUC rate consultant Dan Jackson said a rate increase would improve CUC’s financial position and its ability to provide better quality service to customers.