Saturday 19 June 2021

‘It is difficult to lower electricity rates, but possible’, Carlos Obregón

Carlos Obregón, incoming president of the state power and telecom, ICE. | Photo JORGE NAVARRO
Carlos Obregón, incoming president of the state power and telecom, ICE. | Photo JORGE NAVARRO

Carlos Obregón, who will take the reins of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) on May 8, spoke to La Nacion of the challenges he faces, in particular reducing the cost of electricity.

In the interview Thursday, Obregón said one of the elements that have to be analyzed in detail are the elimination of tax on fuel. Another is a possible reduction in the sales tax, but that also has an impact on state revenues. The a financial management, bettering financial terms on existing projects.

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The incoming head of the state power and telecom feels that lowering sales taxes and the tax on fuels, despite the fiscal gap, he sincerely feels possible to lower electricity rates in the short term.

Despite being ‘pro’ ICE, Obregón says he shares the same opinion of president-elect Luis Guillermo Solís to open the sector to more private participation.

Obregón does not feel that the private sector can provide power cheaper than ICE and denies the existence of small private companies offering electricity at lower rates than ICE and or the CNFL (Compañia Nacional de Fuerza y Luz), an ICE subisidiary.

“No, no. I don’t share that opinion”, said Obregón.

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The future minister added that ICE has built and paid for plans providing the lowest energy costs, despite high costing plants, like the Pirrís, which according to Obregón plays a specific role in the system.

Of importance to the minister-appointee is an open discussion and publis explanations of how ICE’s electricial system works, the characteristics of the different types of energy.

Source: Carlos Obregón: ‘Es difícil bajar las tarifas de luz, pero hay posibilidades (La Nacion)

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