Electricity costs to increase 7.78 percent next week

Good news for folks who complained they weren’t getting charged enough for electricity: starting Monday, April 15, the cost of electricity will increase by 7.78%, according to the latest rate hike announced this morning from the Nicaraguan Electricity Institute (INE).

Nicaragua, which already has the highest electricity costs in Central America, will increase its lead over its neighbors next week by implementing new rate hikes for all users—households and businesses—that consume more than 150 kilowatt-hours (kWh).

Most Nicaraguan households, however, won’t feel the increase thanks to a $35 million subsidy provided by ALBA-CARUNA, a Sandinista cooperative that manages Venezuelan aid. David Castillo, president of INE, said that 82% of the population, or roughly 630,000 low-income households, consumes less than 150 kilowatt-hours and will be covered by the subsidy.

But the other 18% of the population might want to start buying candles.

Were it not for the ALBA subsidy and Nicaragua’s gradual shift towards renewable energy sources, next week’s price hike would have been 15%, Castillo said. So as you are bumping around the house in the dark, drinking a warm beer from your disconnected refrigerator, you can take small comfort in the idea that things could be worse.

  • AWD

    Ortega is going down!

  • Frank Driscoll

    Hi Tim:
    Wondering if any of your readers are familiar with Polaris Energy Nicaragua, a subsidiary of Ram Power. They report that they are pumping 61 MW of power into the Nic grid, or approx. 17 % of the total.
    Does this sound reasonable to you ?

  • Kelvin

    Google: San Jacinto-Tizate Geothermal Power Project

    You will find lots of information.

    The numbers sound right. I think there was a delay but it went something like 36 MW on line in July 2011 and another 36 MW was finally ready March 2012.

  • Carla Chamorro

    They know the “merienda de negros” with Chavez is in the ending process and so they are preparing. What they still don’t want to accept is the fact they are going down with the Chavismo.

    All in all the Chavez-Ortega joke will end in max. two years. Carlos Pellas knows this, ask him if you will. Thing is, he’s got the cash and the clean hands and clean conscience to outlive Ortega. His family and group has done so in the past and will, one more time….

  • Mike

    The US Energy Information Administration says the average US residential user consumed 940 kwh a month in 2011. Other estimates put annual average household US energy expenditure — heat and electricity — at about US$2000, or a little less than five percent of average household income. Figures for US firewood consumption and expenditures were unavailable.

  • ONO

    just got my bill this am in Spring Hill, Florida
    495 kwh’s usage
    no heat or air req’d this billing period
    1 fridge, hot water, lites, appliances, electronics
    >150 kwh’s a month, how is that even possible?

    • car

      your water heater and electric stove/oven are hogs.

    • Kelvin

      How?, a couple of energy efficient light bulbs donated from Cuba and a TV. Their appliances would be a cell phone charger.

      • Kelvin

        My last 3 bills: January 120kwh, February 125kwh and March 138kwh

        Live simple!

  • http://terischro@gmail.com Teri

    Fan, light, refrigerator and TV.

  • Andrew W

    Given this, why don’t we see more small scale solar projects? The return on investment (even with the Nica tariffs) is a short time frame. If homeowners and business owners became more energy efficient (i.e. DC ceiling fans and lighting) and added a few panels and batteries (to avoid the need to convert to AC), they could at least shave off the peak rate level consumption if not quite a bit more.

    • Rebecca W

      I agree with Andrew. Recently visited Corn Island and met up with a small B &B owner completely off the grid with her solar panels.

      Our house in Managua has a small store with 3 large freezers(which we have to turn off at night). We are currently paying about $110 electric bill per month, I hate to see what will happen if we plan on purchasing yet another fridge for the new apartment we added to the house!!! And it won’t stop at 7.78, it’s only a matter of time. But why is NICA so much higher than other CA countries?

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  • Damon

    Where can you find the price per kWh for electricity? I heard peak demand is at 30 $US per kWh…