QCOSTARICA – It’s January, the start of the new year and time to improve your finances. What do you do? Take a page from the National Power and Light Company (Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz – CNFL) book, temporarily free half of your debt payments.
The power and light division of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) announced on Thursday just that, it will temporarily free 50% of its debt this in order to manage its financial crisis.
The utility, confirmed by general manager Victor Solis, will also be suspending its contributions to the Fondo de Ahorro y Crédito, al Centro de Recreación Sindical, lunch counter (soda) services and other benefits under the collective agreement to its 2,200 employees.
Solis explained the utility was forced to make the drastic cuts after being rejected a rate increase by the regulatory authority, the Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos (Aresep). The CNFL proposal was to hike rates to cover its ¢30 billion colones debt.
The ARESEP approved last November a rate hike of 18.6%, though the company had requested 35%.
The CNFL provides electrical power to some 520,000 subscribers in the Greater Metropolitan Area.