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.