7 May 2008

CNMI power rates, and government fees rise

8:23 am on 7 May 2008

The CNMI Governor Benigno Fitial has signed into law an omnibus bill that provides the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation cash for fuel.

The Saipan Tribune reports that the measure, now Public Law 16-2, is seen to help CUC reduce its expected shortfall of US$11.3 million by Sept. 30, 2008.

The legislation suspends the power rates rollback, which has caused CUC a monthly shortfall of $1 million in fuel costs alone.

But Tony Muna, the newly appointed CUC executive director, said that even if new rates are applied immediately, it may take CUC some time to see the benefits.

There is a lag time of about 45 to 60 days between CUC's billing date and the final deadline for customer payment.

CUC's next tanker fuel delivery is expected in three weeks, he noted.