The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) – the national power and light company (and telecom) – announced it will be seeking an increase of 20% in electricity rates for 2019.

The increase comes only weeks after the regulator of public services, the Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos (Aresep), approved an 8% increase.

The new increase, if approved, would see rates go from the current ¢78.69 to ¢94.72 kWh for the first 200 kWh consumed in a month and from ¢141.82 to ¢170.71 on consumption over 200 kWh.

The increase represents an increase of ¢3.206 colones monthly for a family consuming 200 kWh. Their monthly bill would go from ¢15,738 to ¢18,944 colones starting on April 1.

Weeks back, Irene Cañas, said that Grupo ICE would close 2018 in the red, the state institution reporting a ¢314 billion colones loss, almost of half (46%) due to the dollar exchange rate.