El Paso

Council denies proposed El Paso Electric rate increase

EL PASO - The El Paso City Council rejected El Paso Electric's proposed rate increase during a special meeting Monday.

After an hour-long discussion and with with only five city representatives and the mayor present, Council voted unanimously to deny the proposed rate.

"Less than a year after we settled the last case El Paso Electric is seeking a $42.5 million increase in Texas," Norman Gordon, of Outside Council to the City said. 

Prior to the vote, city reps. were walked through a presentation given by Gordan, who highlighted key topics in the case.

The rate case calls for significant changes to several entities. The electrical company is asking for changes in its combined non-fuel base rates, totaling  an average percent increase in overall base rates of 8.7 percent.

"There are a lot of things in this case, like increases in customer charges, that are very controversial," Gordon said.

Under the proposed rates, the average monthly residential bill increase in the summer would be $9.27, and the average monthly bill increase in the winter would be $7.24. The current residential bill sits at $82.60.

The case was filed back in February and will most likely be finalized by November 2017. 

"(El Paso Electric) will undoubtedly file an appeal with the public utility commission and we will slug it out at the Public Utility Commission in August," Gordon said.

El Paso Electric spokesman Eddie Gutierrez says the utilities company saw the denial coming. "This was expected, this was was normal," he said, "None of the numbers we have proposed are final and this is why we have a rate case process."

The full presentation of the rate increase can be found on the city's website.

The rate case is expected to be finalized by November. If approved. a spokesman with the utilities company says the rate increase will go into effect towards the end of the year or beginning of 2018.

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