Long lines were typical at gasoline stations across the Central Valley and the country
Long lines were typical at gasoline stations across the Central Valley and the country last night, ahead of a major increase in fuel prices that took effect at the stroke of midnight.

Hikes in Gasoline, Tolls and Electricity took effect This morning, Friday July 1.

The lines were long at many gasoline stations Thursday night, filling up ahead of the ¢84 colones increase in the price of a litre of super gasoline, ¢77 for regular (or plus) and ¢71 for diesel.

The price for a litre of gasoline this morning is ¢602 for super, ¢575 for regular and ¢451 for diesel.

This increase wiped out the “historic” drop in prices last march, when gasoline prices took a nose dive. Many drivers interviewed last night questioned the increase, given that the price of oil on international markets remains low and with no major increases.

On the road, the tolls on the Ruta 27 (San Jose – Caldera), save for the Escazu tolls that remains at ¢330 for light passenger vehicles and motorcycles, increased from ¢10 to ¢50 colones.

Globalvia, the road concessionaire, said the adjustment is to reflect the recent changes in the dollar exchange.

Electricity also went up today. Electrical rates (tarifas luz in Spanish) jumped 5.49% for customers of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), while customers of the Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz (CNFL) – an ICE subsidiary – will be paying 4.45% more. Five other utilities also increased their rates this morning, all minor compared to ICE and the CNFL, while Coopesantso made a reduction.

The increase is being blamed on higher demand for electrical power. According to the Índice Mensual de Actividad Económica (IMAE), demand for the period of February to April 2015 was 2.218 GWh, while in the same period in 2016 the demand was 2.366 GWh.

According to the Aresep, the regulating authority, the rate hike was due to an increase in spending by ICE in the purchase of bunker and diesel fuel to power generators to meet the increased demand.

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