A measure to lower energy tariff rates by subsidizing fuel costs through a portion of the proceeds from the Pristine Paradise Environmental Fee (PPEF) was introduced in the national congress on February 18.

Senate bill no. 10-148, which was introduced by Senator Frank Kyota, seeks to amend 40 PNC § 2706 by setting aside $5 from the $100 environmental fee to be provided directly to the Palau Public Utilities Corporation (PPUC) to subsidize fuel costs.

The $5 will come from the $22.50 allocation from the PPEF that is currently reverted to the National Treasury. This means that in order to get the $5 allocation from the current breakdown of the PPEF appropriations, the $22.50 allocation for the national treasury will be reduced to $17.50.

“The Olbiil Era Kelulau strongly believes in common-sense solutions for energy and finds that funds currently guaranteed to revert to the national treasury would be better served if directly provided to PPUC to supplement its ability to subsidize fuel costs for residential consumers,” the bill’s legislative findings read.

The bill states in its legislative findings that there is a need for the national government to find ways to lower the electricity rates.

Meanwhile, the current FY 2019 National Budget appropriated $500,000 for Automatic Fuel Price Adjustment Clause (AFPAC) for PPUC to help reduce the impact of the rising cost of fuel.  The source of this fund comes from local revenue.

An amount of $1,102,000 also goes to pay for the ADB Loan for Water Sector Improvement Program and the source of funding comes from Green Fees or what is now called the PPEF. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)