Electricity rate increases announced
Campaign News | Monday, 21 November 2005
No change to the subsidized rate for the first 100 kilowatt-hours
Havana 23 November: THE Cuban government has announced a set of measures affecting electricity rates, wage increases and Social Security and Social Assistance payments, in a decree signed by President Fidel Castro issued on November 22.
The document informs that for monthly consumption of the first 100 kilowatt-hours, the current highly-subsidized price of just 9 centavos per kilowatt-hour remains.
The new decree, which constitutes “the first legal measure in the vital and decisive fight to save energy” - as the document itself says - indicates that for monthly consumption of more than 100 kilowatt-hours and up to 150, the cost goes up to 20 to 30 centavos per kilowatt-hour.
From 150 kilowatt-watt hours and up to 200, the rate increases to 20 to 40 centavos per kilowatt-hour/additional hour.
From more than 200 kilowatt-hours and up to 250, it is 20 to 60 centavos per kilowatt-hour.
For more than 250 kilowatt-hours and up to 300, it is 20 to 80 centavos per kilowatt-hour.
And for consumption of more than 300 kilowatt-hours, it goes up to 30 centavos to 1 peso and 30 centavos per kilowatt-hour for the additional consumption.
The decree goes into effect beginning with consumption registered during the month of December and the new rates will be charged beginning this coming January.
In addition, the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, in unison with this decree, will apply the new wage increases and social security and assistance payments.
The increase in electricity rates takes into account the higher price of $50-plus per barrel of oil.
It also takes into account the fact that, after the disintegration of the socialist bloc and the Soviet Union in late 1991, the island entered the so-called Special Period when it was no longer receiving 14 million tons of oil per year.
Moreover, the greatest oil consumption in Cuba is that used for electricity generation, and in recent years, when those costs increased several times, electricity rates remained the same, the decree notes.
Likewise, it warns that the world’s proven and probable oil and gas reserves are inexorably running out, while the pace of consumption and environmental pollution are growing, at the same time as climactic changes are threatening life on Earth.
The decree states that a lack of concern on the part of Cuban citizens with respect to electricity consumption is evident, given the negligible current prices of that service.
The Cuban state also takes note of the income inequalities among those who receive relatively low pensions and wages and those who are benefiting from a large monetary income derived from speculation, misappropriation of resources and other forms of illicit self-enrichment.
The government believes that the new electricity rates will encourage those citizens who consume little energy and conserve it, and will discourage excessive consumption by those who waste it.