Most Ecuador residential electric customers will see their electric bills increase by 10% to 12% beginning in June. Although Ecuador’s National Electricity Council (Conelec) is not saying so, the increase is intended to offset government electric subsidies, including the one that will replace the LP gas subsidy that will be eliminated in 2016.
The rate increase will be one cent per kilowatt hour for residential customers and two cents for commercial customers.
A number of business organizations are complaining that the rate increases hits commercial operations especially hard. “The increase will affect business productivity,” say Carola Rios, chief executive of the Chamber of Industry of Cuenca. She says that the increase may be necessary but it discourages establishment or expantion of businesses.
Inflation remains low but is higher in Cuenca
Ecuador ended April with an inflation rate of .30 percent, said the Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC).
Annual inflation stood at 3.23% while the year-to-date cumulative came to 1.83%, according to INEC.
Inflation in April, said the Institute, responded primarily to price increases in the areas of food and non-alcoholic beverages (50.65%), followed by education (23.71%).
According to INEC, Esmeraldas showed the highest monthly inflation with .76%, followed by Cuenca at .63%.
The cost of the basic family food basket in April was $ 633.61.