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Puerto Rico aims to cut energy production costs

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News,Business

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico's power company has unveiled a plan for reducing production costs so it can cut fees by 40 percent.

The executive director of the Electric Energy Authority says he will lower the current charge of 27 cents per kilowatt hour to 16 cents by 2019. Juan Alicea said Wednesday the agency will rely more on natural gas and renewable energy sources as well as modernize equipment to improve efficiency.

The plan is being met with skepticism by many in Puerto Rico, where power bills average more than twice those on the U.S. mainland.

Alicea's announcement comes as legislators aim to reform the agency and strengthen oversight of it amid complaints of corruption and expensive bills.

Puerto Rico currently depends on oil to generate nearly 70 percent of its electricity.

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