Electricity subsidies plummet over $150 million

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STATE ELECTRICITY subsidies  in Panama  have fallen by over $150 million since 2014.

The amount paid by decreased from $400 million in 2014 to an estimated $46 million this year.

The government, in the first half of this year, spent $23 million in subsidies.

The decrease is due to two main factors, a decrease in fuel prices, which have resulted in lower electricity costs, and a review of the formula used to determine how much the state pays in the subsidies reports La Prensa

That review led to the state increasing subsidies for users of less than 300 kilowatts hours (kwh) per month, with the idea being that low-income families used less electricity.

The subsidy was created in 2004 to help people deal with the impact of rising electric costs. It initially covered users of up to 55 kilowatts per month, but in 2012 that amount started to be moved to current levels.