Because of an error from the Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos (Aresep), during the last 14 months the consumers have been buying fuel at a price much higher than what they should have paid.
In December 2011, ARESEP made a mistake at the time of fixating the commercialization margin to the fuel suppliers; the chief of Energy recognized that, Juan Manuel Quesada.
Quesada detailed that there was an over-valuation of the buildings and terrains of the gas stations, two of the components that have the biggest weight in the base price of this service.
According to some estimations of the Authority, the gas station suppliers should reintegrate 8467 million colones to their clients.
For this reason the regulator entity approved, at the beginning of March, to drop the prices by 6 colones in the commercialization margin, decision that has the gas station owners at the borderline of a strike which could put in danger the supplying of fuels.
This pressure measure ended up in suspense meanwhile an appellation is being resolved, presented against the price drop.
“It’s considered reasonable to return the extra money charged in a time frame of 12 months maximum, considering that that fixed price was being charged over a period of 14 months”, indicates the resolution 237-IE-2013, from Intendencia de Energía. This past March 7th.
The inform adds that in mid-March of 2014, once that return of the money is complete, the commercialization margin will have to rise to 42,18 colones per sold liter.
The Intendencia de Energía is the organ in charge of fixing the commercialization margin to the distributors of fuel.
According to gas-station owners, they want to impose a policy of returning money that was attained during a legally established price authorized by ARESEP.
“This is qualified by the company owners as unfair and illegal, because the act that generated such an increase in the gas prices was a product of a technical revision made by the technicians of ARESEP”, said José Miguel Masís, executive director of the Cámara de Empresarios del Combustible.
Change of rules. The Intendente de Energía indicated that ARESEP agreed on lowering the commercialization margin in base of new calculations made after a recent building and land valuation, made by the Ministerio de Hacienda.
The study modified the price per square meter of each building.
To the new valuation, for the first time a discount by age was applied equivalent to 21 years.
“There’s a change of rules. In reality what we are talking about is that there is a more accurate technical evaluation to determine the value of the land and the buildings”, Quesada added.
With the diminishing, the commercialization margin must return to the fixed price in September 2011 of 37.07 colones per liter.
This occurs just when the gas station owners wanted an adjustment of 37%, which would raise the price to 59.4 colones, a ridiculous rate.
The businessmen accuse ARESEP of modifying the model of price fixation and disrespecting the established process. They claim that the adjustment should have been seen by a public audience and be approved before applying it.