Jan 10, 6:21 PM EST

Puerto Ricans overwhelmed by chronically high power bills amid a decade-long economic crisis will soon see some relief


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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Puerto Ricans overwhelmed by chronically high power bills amid a decade-long economic crisis will soon see some relief.

The island's energy commission on Tuesday ordered the public power company to lower its rates. Officials said customers will see a change by March or April, and they will be credited for paying a provisional rate increase that began last year.

Residential customers were bracing for a 23 percent increase over current rates this year and businesses faced an up to 24 percent increase as the heavily indebted power company sought to generate more revenue to pay for new bonds and infrastructure projects.

The agency has long been accused of corruption and is $9 billion in debt. It is finalizing a restructuring deal after two years of negotiations with creditors.

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