Puerto Rico power company announces 15 percent drop in bills

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico’s power company has announced a 15 percent reduction in electric bills as people struggle to recover from Hurricane Maria amid an economic crisis.

Executive Director Jose Ortiz said Thursday that the reduction comes as the Electric Power Authority increases its reliance on natural gas. But he warned power bills could increase if oil prices change given the company’s heavy reliance on petroleum.

Clients will now pay between 18 and 19 cents per kilowatt hour compared with 22 cents.

Ortiz was appointed as executive director in July and said he understands that clients are skeptical about the reduction because the power company has long lacked credibility. It holds more than $9 billion in debt and is undergoing a bankruptcy and privatization process.

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