Should condos be charged for power as a commercial building? - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Should condos be charged for power as a commercial building?

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All condominiums and apartment buildings should be charged at the residential power rate, and not the commercial rate. That's the purpose behind a new bill that went through a public hearing Monday. But the Guam Power Authority says it's not based on whether people live there, but rather how much the building impacts the system.

It seems pretty straightforward, condos and apartments are residences and should be charged as such, but realtor Chris Felix says many are being billed as commercial.

"I'm not asking anyone to change the rates, I'm just asking them if it's residential, bill them at residential rates. I don't think it violates any rules or regulations or bonds, all I'm saying is if it's a condominium where people are living, if it's an apartment building where people are living, it should be billed at residential rates. I think it's very simple," Felix said.

But CCU chairman Joey Duenas says it's not as simple as that. It doesn't matter so much that it's a residential type building; GPA has to take into account what it costs to deliver power to it.

"The bottom line is all these different entities, all these different people, are charged based on what it costs to provide service to that customer. Whether it's this house, or this really big house, or this one complex with one master meter. At the end of the day it's supposed to be fairness. Everybody gets treated equally," Duenas stated.

GPA says if they changed the rate without regard to how much it costs, and they lose money, it would likely impact other customer rates. The issue has come up before, and the PUC attorney Fred Horecky says the commission should be the one to resolve it.

"If somebody asked us to look at this rate, we'd set up a docket, assign a docket number, as I said have consultants review it, and that's the way normally rates are changed," he said. "GPA has certain costs that have to be met by rates. If you take away rates in one area, I heard there may be 600 people affected, so the question is how does that impact GPA's rates?"

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