by Mindy Aguon
Guam - As a result of pressure from the island's hotel industry and increases prices at the pump, the Consolidated Commission on Utilities denied the Guam Power Authority's emergency request to raise the Levelized Energy Adjustment Clause. The LEAC provides the agency with a mechanism to recover costs for fuel.
GPA had sought a 9.8% increase that would've equated to a more than $23 increase for most households, but CCU chairman Simon Sanchez says it's just not affordable right now, especially for those in the hotel industry. "Their biggest concern was their employees; with the weak economy as a result of the Japan disaster, hotels are laying people off, reducing hours, they having 40% occupancies projected in April, May, and June.
"If we were to raise the power bill in June, they're just going to have no ability to pay it and their employees will have no ability to pay it because they've been cut back or laid off," he explained.
Sanchez says GPA will use the working capital fund to help the agency recover the increasing fuel costs until they submit their next LEAC adjustment to the Public Utilities Commission in June.