Providing clean, renewable power to our growing region takes a lot of innovation. That’s why we’re replacing aging equipment as old as 57 years with new generation technology that is up to 35% more efficient. We also continue to develop large-scale solar options that are available to everyone in our community. These advancements help to ensure a bright energy future. However, as a public utility, we can only recover these costs through a rate case.
Why a rate case now?
Our community is experiencing incredible growth, and to meet its power needs we have invested almost half a billion dollars in new technology to protect and maintain our power grid since 2015.
What is the rate case process?
When we request to make changes to your bill to help recover the cost of investments and upgrades to the power grid, we need approval from local and state regulators. It’s a transparent process that ensures everyone’s interests are represented, including residents, business owners and advocacy groups. Regulators have anywhere from six months to one year to review the details of and consider the effects of a rate case before making a final ruling.
How much will my bill increase?
Under the proposed rates, the average monthly residential bill increase in the summer would be $9.27 and the average monthly residential bill increase in the winter would be $7.24.
Does this increase affect Private Solar Customers (rooftop solar)?
Consistent with its treatment of other rate groups, El Paso Electric is proposing to assign Residential DG Service, the new rate group for private solar customers, to its full cost of service. We are proposing to implement a new rate structure, including a monthly demand charge, to recover the cost of grid‐related services that are currently incorporated in the kilowatt hour charge in a bill. We are also proposing to recover these costs through other mechanisms like the demand charge and time‐of‐use charges. Under the proposed rates, a residential customer with private rooftop solar panels will see an average bill increase of $14.09 per month. As of September 2016, approximately 1,800 residential customers in Texas have private rooftop solar. Bill impacts and percentage changes do not reflect credits provided to customers with private solar under Net Energy Metering. We have met with several interested parties since the 2015 rate case and conversations will continue throughout this rate case process. Our proposal also includes a new rate structure for small commercial customers with private solar identical to that proposed for residential customers.
How will the rate case affect Small Commercial Customers?
Under this rate proposal, El Paso Electric is recommending to decrease rates for customers in this rate class by less than 3%. This customer class has historically subsidized other customer groups and the cost of service study reflects a reduction to small commercial customers.
How will the rate case impact Rate 41 (City/County Service)?
El Paso Electric is proposing to keep this rate, currently closed to new customers. Approximately 900 customers, including some schools and city and county facilities, are currently served under Rate 41. Since this rate class has continued to be subsidized by other customer classes, we are eliminating this subsidy by proposing to redesign rates and align these customers with their actual cost of service. El Paso Electric’s commercial services department will be working with each customer to analyze costs and impacts in order to determine if the customer’s costs would be better reflected within another rate class, such as General Service.
When is my bill expected to increase?
Upon regulatory approval, new rates may be implemented in late 2017 or early 2018.
New Power Generation and Distribution Assets
– Montana Power Station Units 3 and 4
– Transmission and Distribution Lines
– Palo Verde Capital Improvements
– Investment in Upgrading Existing Local Generation
– General and Intangible Plant
Why are these investments needed?
As your public utility, we are always exploring new methods of generating and delivering reliable power to over 400,000 homes and businesses. To do this, we must upgrade and replace older infrastructure, which allows us maintain the reliable quality of service that you deserve.
Growing Customer Demand
As we continue to see economic and population growth, El Paso Electric must support this growth with reliable and efficient electricity. These investments made are helping to meet the increased demand that is being placed on the power grid. This past summer, we experienced a record peak that was 5.4% higher than the peak established in 2015 by more than 90 megawatts.
At El Paso Electric, protecting the power grid is a priority, but we all have an important role to play in building the next generation of electricity infrastructure. Together we will power our community’s future.