Over in the CNMI, lawmakers as part of the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation met with public utility officials to once again press them on the hike in cost of power hurting everyone's pockets.

CNMI lawmakers continue to pepper public utility officials with questions about the rising cost of power. At the center of their most recent inquiry, is the Fuel Adjustment Charge, or FAC previously known as the LEAC. It is adjusted based on several factors including the price of oil, transportation costs, local taxes, customer debt, and volatility of the market. 

One lawmaker described some of those variables as "hidden fees."

Sen. Edith Deleon Guerrero said, "There should be nothing automatic about passing on fuel expense or any other expense to utility rate payers without commission oversight an regulation. Do you agree that the FAC charges to customers on a monthly basis is fair considering that there has not been a rate review by CPUC?" 

CUC executive director Gary P. Camacho added, "The methodology we are currently using is a methodology provided to us by the CPUC and required  and in mandating us to follow it accordingly."

On the first of this month, the FAC rate fell from $0.43 to $0.37 per kilowatt hour. Lawmakers continued to press for specific FAC-related charges to be made public so that rate payers know exactly what they are paying for. But one metric for the pricing basis that adjustments are made by, the "Mean of Platts Singapore," is apparently proprietary. 

"CUC wants to get the information," Camacho stated. "CUC asked to get the information, but that answer was just as surprising to me as it is to you. It is what was provided  to us. We will provide something like this very quickly."

It's yet to be seen if another FAC reduction will meet people's meters in the coming months.