cost of electricity in puerto rico
Our house in Texas was perched on a hill overlooking the city of San Antonio. The city lights view in the evening was absolutely magnificent. It had nearly 3000 sq. ft. of living space with beautiful vaulted ceilings. Our boys were both born while we lived there and made many precious memories within those walls. It was a great place, but it took a lot of energy to keep it cool. Electric bills of over $300 a month were not uncommon during the dog days of summer.
Here in Puerto Rico, our electricity usage has plummeted. We did invest in LED lights and inverter A/C units, but perhaps more importantly, we are living in a smaller place (about 1250 sq. ft.) that’s in a milder climate. Occasionally, we use A/C in our bedrooms at night or in my office when I lift weights, but usually we just keep the windows open throughout the condo with ceiling fans on if necessary.
In the summer, it’s not really even necessary to use the hot water heater for showers. It’s a little cool at first but you quickly get used to it. Even Holly can handle it. Conveniently, our condo has a switch for the hot water heater so you can just turn it on when needed.
Over the last 6 months our energy usage has averaged around 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month.
Regarding the cost of electricity in Puerto Rico; there is some good news and some bad news.
I’ll start with the bad news. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), which provides electricity to the entire island, is in debt to the tune of $9 billion and will likely have to raise it’s base rate as soon as this month. Puerto Rico already has some of the highest electricity rates in the country and this certainly isn’t going to help.
Here’s where the good news, short-lived as it may be, comes in. The price of oil, which is primarily what PREPA uses to produce electricity, has plunged. It’s fallen from a price of $107.68 a barrel in June of 2014 to $30.68 as I write!
To see how this translated into actual savings, I found an article online from July 2014 which mentions a cost of 23.5 cents per kWh. For comparison, I just looked at my latest bill and see that I was charged just 16.33 cents per kWh. I’m sure this modest price decrease is providing welcome relief for many Puerto Ricans.
I have no idea how low this can go and how long this can last, but with all the negative news about Puerto Rico dominating the headlines, I wanted to share some fleeting good news that those here on the island can be thankful for. That said, the enduring good news about the cost of electricity in Puerto Rico is that you’ll likely use a lot less!