El Paso Electric generic - EPE - Photo Courtesy of El Paso Electric
Photo courtesy EP Electric El Paso Electric generic - EPE

City Council sets Public Hearing for proposed El Paso Electric Rate Case

The El Paso City Council voted unanimously Monday to schedule a public hearing about the El Paso Electric rate case on Wednesday, October 20.

The Council may vote to approve the utility’s proposed rate increase, approve a different rate, or deny the utility’s proposed rate increase on Wednesday, October 20, or during the alternative date of Monday, October 25.

Next steps:

  • November 2021: New rates will be effective.
  • January 2022: The current PUC deadline to act on the rate request.

The projected timeline is set by State statute; however, the dates may be adjusted to a schedule agreed upon by all parties.

In June, the City Council voted unanimously to suspend the rate increase proposed by El Paso Electric (EPE) for its Texas retail customers. The suspension provided the City time to review the proposed rate change and prepare for the public hearing to determine if the proposed increase is fair, just and reasonable; while allowing the utility to be financially healthy and invest appropriately in its infrastructure to ensure safe and reliable service.

City officials say that, in its application, El Paso Electric cites the need to recover costs associated with over $953 million in investments made into its generation, transmission and distribution systems, since its last base rate case filed in early 2017.

To recover costs associated with these investments, El Paso Electric is proposing an annual net increase to its base rate of $41.8 million, or a 7.8 percent increase over its current base revenue.

According to EPE’s application, the majority of the $41.8 million increase will be borne by residential customers, EPE’s largest customer class. Under the proposed rate increase, the typical residential customer would see an average increase of about $10.25 a month, representing a nearly 13.4 percent increase to their monthly bill.

This proposed rate increase is in addition to the increases associated with the proposed Advanced Metering System filed on April 19, 2021; the Energy Efficiency Program filed on May 3, 2021; and the recent adjustments for fuel costs under collection made effective during the first billing cycle of May 2021.

“Together, and once fully implemented, these rate adjustments could result in an average monthly bill increase of approximately $20,” city officials say.

“Furthermore, EPE recently filed an additional fuel surcharge on September 15, 2021, in an effort to recover an under collection of fuel costs of nearly $45 million. The fuel surcharge will increase monthly bills by an average of $3.73 for a period of 18 months.”

El Paso Electric is governed by the rules and regulations of the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the New Mexico Public Regulatory Commission. electric

A rate case is the regulatory process that all public utilities must follow to formally change their rates. In Texas, both the City
of El Paso City Council and the PUC oversee rate changes, and any proposed changes must first go through a review process before receiving a final decision by regulators.

WHAT:           Public Hearing regarding the proposed El Paso Electric Rate Case

WHEN:           6 p.m. Wednesday, October 20

WHERE:        City Council Chambers, City Hall, 300 N. Campbell

VIRTUAL:     Teleconference phone number is (915) 213-4096

                        Toll free number is 1-833-664-9267

                        Conference ID: 334 239 067#

For more info from the City of El Paso, click here; for our complete coverage, click here. el paso electric