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Home | Tag Archives: el paso electric

Tag Archives: el paso electric

El Paso Electric Warns of Increase in Scam Calls

Officials with El Paso Electric (EPE) say they have seen an increase in the number of scam calls targeting customers, with over 60 reported just this month.

Via a news release officials shared, “Scammers are masking calls to make it appear as if it was originated by EPE as well as resembling the customer service phone number. Each scam reported involve the threat to disconnect service if payment is not made immediately.”

Customers are being directed to purchase a prepaid debit card to handle payment, and then provided with either a “1-800” or “1-877” non-affiliated EPE phone number to call back to make the payment over the phone.

“As these scams become more sophisticated, customers should hang up and call an El Paso Electric phone number to report the call or inquire about the status of their account,” officials added.

EPE will never ask customers to purchase a prepaid debit card to make a payment over the phone. EPE officials recommend the following tips to protect customers from potential scams:

  • Be suspicious of any call asking for payment, especially if they require payment with a prepaid debit card. EPE has various payment methods through authorized payment options.
  • EPE will never direct customers to an exclusive location to handle payment with a prepaid debit card.
  • If there are any questions regarding the authenticity of the caller claiming to represent EPE, report the issue at (915) 543-5970, (575) 526-5555 or call toll free at (800) 592-1634.
  • Do not offer any confidential information unless the customer initiated the contact with EPE customer service at one of the above numbers.

For a complete list of EPE authorized payment options or more more information, customers can visit their website.

NM’s Public Regulation Commission Rushes to Approve Solar Project

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A hearing for a proposed community solar project near Las Cruces is scheduled for next month, even after El Paso Electric attempted to withdraw its proposal.

New Mexico’s Public Regulation Commission has put the hearing on its calendar, despite opponents’ successfully arguing that the original proposal showed favoritism to the utility company over independent solar contractors.

Mariel Nanasi, executive director of the group New Energy Economy, said when utilities are given an automatic advantage by the PRC, customers don’t get the lowest price for solar energy.

“The law is, you’re supposed to get the most cost-effective among feasible alternatives,” Nanasi explained. “Well, one of the other alternatives is to allow independent power producers to compete against the utility – and when they do, they’re often much cheaper.”

At a recent meeting, PRC Chairman Sandy Jones said he believed El Paso Electric’s project was so important that no consideration should be given to proposals from independent solar companies. A 30-day application turnaround isn’t typically considered feasible, but the hearing is scheduled for November 27.

Nanasi said she believes it’s being rushed because three of the five commission members will not sit on the board by the end of the calendar year.

The solar farm would be similar to one that El Paso Electric operates in southwest Texas. It allows low-income and other customers to have their power supplemented by the solar farm, even if they can’t afford or don’t want home installation.

Nanasi said she thinks these types of projects should be embraced by the state, and that the PRC isn’t acting in the public’s best interest when it shows favoritism to a major utility. She pointed to studies showing that most solar generated through contracts with independent power producers is less costly than solar provided by utilities.

“When you are sitting as a commissioner, your whole job is to regulate on behalf of the public,” she said. “And yet, they want to approve it without even a hearing – the hearing has not even happened yet.”

El Paso Electric’s 20-year resource plan says solar projects from independent solar providers can be contracted at $21 per megawatt hour – one-third of what the utility itself is currently charging.

AUTHOR – Roz Brown, Public News Service – NM

El Paso Electric: Scam Calls on the Rise

According to El Paso Electric (EPE) officials, the month of August has seen an increase in the number of scam calls reported to their offices.

The scams involve the threat to disconnect service, if payment is not made immediately. Customers are asked to purchase a prepaid debit card and are provided with a number to call back to make the payment over the phone.

The phone number used to call back for payment is not an EPE-associated phone number.  EPE officials remind customers that they will never ask customers to purchase a prepaid debit card to make a payment over the phone.

As these scams become more sophisticated, customers should hang up and call an El Paso Electric phone number to report the call or inquire about the current status of their account.

EPE Officials said, “Scammers can mask a call to make it appear the call was originated by EPE.”  They advise customers that have any doubt about the authenticity of a caller, to hang up and call EPE directly at one of the numbers below.

  • (915) 543-5970
  • (575) 526-5555
  • Toll-free at 1-800-592-1634

EPE recommends the following tips to protect customers from potential scams:

  • Be suspicious of callers asking for payment, especially if they require payment with a prepaid debit card. EPE has various payment methods through authorized payment options.
  • If there are any questions regarding the authenticity of the caller claiming to represent EPE, report the issue at (915) 543-5970, (575) 526-5555 or call toll free at (800) 351-1621.
  • Do not offer any confidential information unless the customer initiated the contact with EPE customer service at one of the above numbers.

For a complete list of EPE authorized payment options or for financial assistance, please visit www.epelectric.com.

Repairs to Damaged Downtown Utility Overpass Begin Sunday Night

Almost a month after a tractor-trailer driver ran his semi-truck into the overpass, crews with El Paso Electric and the Texas Department of Transportation are set to start repairs to the damaged utility bridge.

The repairs begin Sunday night August 12, when EPE Crews will require a full eastbound and westbound closure on I-10 in the downtown area, beginning at 9 p.m.  Crews will remove the existing wires from the damaged utility bridge before the repairs to the bridge begin next week.

Additionally, Wyoming Avenue will be completely closed from North Santa Fe Street to North Stanton Street.

The work is scheduled to be completed before 6 a.m. on Monday, August 13, then rebuilding of the damaged utility bridge in Downtown El Paso is scheduled to begin next weekend.

The continuous, weekend-long closure of I-10 at Downtown will start Friday, August 17th at 8 p.m. and run through Monday, August 19th at 5 a.m.

In preparation, I-10 East will also be closed Wednesday, August 15 and Thursday, August 16th from 8 p.m.-5a.m., nightly.  Traffic will exit and enter I-10 at Downtown.

“Drivers should utilize alternate routes or plan for extra travel time if they plan to be Downtown during this time. Additional congestion can be expected on the detour route as Yandell and Wyoming will be down to one lane during the closure to allow for utility work,” said TxDOT El Paso District Engineer Bob Bielek.

The repair plan includes demolishing then replacing two damaged beams, removing then replacing guardrail, and reconfiguring travel lanes to their original configuration.

“While work will happen on the westbound side of I-10 next weekend, the closure of the eastbound lanes is need for positioning of equipment,” said Bielek. “We expect both sides of the interstate to open simultaneously in time for Monday morning’s rush hour traffic.”

Additional closures related to preparatory work may be required as utility coordination continues. Drivers are encouraged to follow developments on Twitter and look for messages on dynamic message boards along I-10 and related routes.

Coordination with other TxDOT construction projects in progress will ensure drivers have alternate routes on Paisano, US 54, Loop 375/Border Highway and Transmountain free of closures during the designated weekend.

El Paso Electric Releases First Corporate Sustainability Report

On Thursday, El Paso Electric Company (EPE) released its first Corporate Sustainability Report, a compilation of the Company’s recent energy and environmental accomplishments.

“As we continue innovating and working to do our part for the environment, we want to share our progress with our community,” said Mary Kipp, El Paso Electric President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are committed to transparency and continuous improvement in our sustainability performance as we strive to continuously lower our carbon footprint, reduce consumptive water use and establish new and innovative goals for the future of our region.”

The report provides the community insight into EPE’s sustainability efforts, and allows the Company to track, measure and report sustainability metrics annually.

Among the most notable achievements EPE has chronicled in recent years are the divesting of coal from its energy generation profile and an expanding renewable energy portfolio, which included the Texas Community Solar Program, as well as the Holloman Air Force Base Solar Project, a new 5 megawatt (MW) dedicated energy resource for the base.

In addition, the report details EPE’s work to preserve biodiversity in the region, including programs to protect avian species from electric infrastructure, bee hive relocation, and vegetation management.

The report also highlights the energy efficiency strides the Company has made over the past year, and assesses EPE’s social responsibility and community outreach impacts for programs such as the Summer College and High School Internship Program, and other work with local organizations.

To read the full report, visit EPE’s Website or click here.

El Paso Electric Wins 2018 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award

El Paso Electric (EPE) announced Thursday that it has received the 2018 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Award for its efforts in kilowatt-hours (kWh) savings and increased education about energy efficiency.

“We’re very proud of this recognition because it means that our community places a lot of importance on energy efficiency, and we want to continue supporting the measures that help our residents and businesses save energy,” said Susanne Stone, El Paso Electric’s Director of Energy Efficiency and Commercial Services.

EPE’s accomplishments will be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on April 20, 2018.

“The 2018 ENERGY STAR Partners of the Year have demonstrated real leadership, showing how American families and businesses can save energy, save money, and reduce air emissions,” said Bill Wehrum, EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation.

EPE Officials, via a news release said, “Key accomplishments for this award included saving customers 381,935 kWh during 2017 in the New Mexico ENERGY STAR New Homes Program and more than 1,590 million kWh since 2010, as well as increasing the average kWh savings per participating home by 21% since 2016.”

“EPE provided incentives for 65 ENERGY STAR certified homes, and out of all the new homes built in the New Mexico service territory last year, 28% participated in the EPE’s New Homes Program,” according to company officials, “in 2016 alone, ENERGY STAR certified products, homes, buildings, and plants helped Americans save over $30 billion in energy costs and approximately 400 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and while achieving broad emissions reductions.”

To learn more about El Paso Electric’s Energy Efficiency programs and incentives for Texas and New Mexico customers, click here.

For a complete list of 2018 winners and more information about ENERGY STAR’s awards program, visit their website. 

El Paso Electric Files Request to Provide Credit to Texas Customers

El Paso Electric (EPE) filed a proposal Thursday with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), the City of El Paso and the other incorporated cities and towns within its Texas service territory to provide a credit to customers in Texas for the decrease in the federal income tax rate, effective with bills issued on or after April 1, 2018.

“One of the important provisions of our rate case settlement last year was to create a mechanism to pass-through the tax savings stemming from the reduction in the federal statutory income tax rate that was recently enacted,” said Mary Kipp, President and Chief Executive Officer of El Paso Electric Company. “We worked with all the parties in the case to set up a means to pass that savings along to our customers quickly and efficiently.”

EPE is proposing to provide a rate decrease to pass through the effect of the tax reduction by applying a credit to base rates beginning April 1, 2018, on an interim basis, for the electric service EPE provides to all its approximately 320,000 Texas retail customers until final rates are approved.

If the request is approved by the PUCT and other municipal regulatory authorities, including the City of El Paso, the typical residential customer using an average of 635 kilowatt hours of energy per month could see an average monthly bill decrease of $3.83, or 4.5%.

A small commercial customer could see an average monthly bill decrease of approximately 4.6%.

About the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

The tax rate decrease, from 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018, is included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which was signed into law on December 22, 2017.

The following table shows the effect of the proposed rate credit on existing rate classes, pending regulatory approval:

Rate Class Bill Impact of Tax Credit
R01-Residential Service -4.4%
R02-Small General Service -4.6%
R07-Recreational Lighting Service -4.7%
R08-Governmental Street Lighting Service -4.6%
R09-Traffic Signal Service -3.8%
R11TOU-Municipal Pumping Service -3.8%
R15-Electrolytic Refining Service -3.3%
RWH-Water Heating Service -4.3%
R22-Irrigation Service -4.0%
R24-General Service -4.0%
R25-Large Power Service -3.6%
R26-Petroleum Refining Service -3.3%
R28-Private Area Lighting Service -4.5%
R30-Electric Furnace Service -4.0%
R31-Military Reservation Service -3.6%
R34-Cotton Gin Service -4.9%
R41-City/County Service -4.3%

EP Electric Now Accepting Applications for 2018 Summer High School Internship Program

El Paso Electric (EPE) is now accepting applications for the 2018 Summer High School Internship Program. In its seventh year, this paid internship opportunity is open to all high school juniors in EPE’s service area.

During Tuesday’s kick off event, EPE announced the opening of the application period to over 300 Bowie High School juniors, and detailed the purpose and positive impact of this opportunity.

Through the course of the summer, students obtain leadership and teamwork skills through various work assignments and group projects, and participate in a learning curriculum which includes lessons on the fundamentals of power generation, transmission, and distribution. Students will also participate in trainings that teach them about engineering, business, finance, and leadership and management skills.

EPE Officials said, “One important component of the summer internship is the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, an annual task the students undertake which identifies a need within the community and attempts to find creative ways to give back.”

Parent and student information sessions will be provided at EPE headquarters located in downtown El Paso at 100 North Stanton. The dates of these information sessions are as follows:

  • Tuesday, October 3, 6:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 12, 6:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 18, 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 21, 10:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, October 25, 6:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 2, 6:00 p.m.

Qualifications

  • Currently enrolled as a high school junior in an accredited high school within the EPE service area
  • Must be classified as a high school junior for the 2017-2018 academic school year and entering your senior year beginning August 2018
  • Must have an overall high school G.P.A. of a 3.0 or above
  • Must be eligible to work in the U.S. without requiring sponsorship for an immigration related employment benefit
  • Must be available to work Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. from Monday, June 11 2018- Friday, August 3, 2018

The closing date for this application is December 31, 2017. For more information on the Summer Internship Program, or other EPE internship opportunities, click here.

EP Electric Interns Raise, Donate $11k to Center Against Sexual & Family Violence

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of El Paso Electric’s (EPE) summer interns, an emergency center for victims of sexual and family violence is expanding.

EPE’s Summer College and High School Interns chose to address the community issue of domestic violence for their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Initiative.

As part of their initiative, the seven college and 16 high school interns  held an educational Awareness Week to teach EPE employees about a wide range of topics related to domestic violence. The project included a partnership with the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence (CASFV), and fundraising efforts that will go towards furnishing a new emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence.

Earlier this week, the EPE Summer Interns announced they surpassed their fundraising goals. They presented a check to Stephanie Karr in the amount of $11,092.76, which will furnish 33 bedrooms, 20 bathrooms, and four kitchenettes for the CASFV’s new emergency shelter.

“This project – this year and years prior – is important because we have an opportunity to make a positive difference in the company and in the community,” said Erin Wells, EPE’s Environmental Department college intern. “Not many people our age have the resources and support to make such a big impact on a societal issue like domestic violence.”

EPE interns took the opportunity to educate themselves about domestic Violence and met with the Executive Director of CASFV, Stephanie Karr.

“We learned that domestic violence is a really pressing issue pressing in the border community. It’s important for us to understand the causes and effects of domestic violence as well as existing resources for victims in our community,” said Christopher Ramirez, Renewable Department college intern.

The summer college internship program was created to provide a unique opportunity to local college students studying outside of our region in hopes that they will return after receiving their degree.

Seven college interns started on May 22, and the 12 week program helps in EPE’s effort to give back to the community by providing students an opportunity to apply their knowledge in a career setting.

In its sixth year, EPE’s high school internship program consists of 16 local high school students from various high schools. This unique program provides students with the opportunity to work with various departments throughout the company while also providing them with leadership development trainings that teach them professional behavioral skills in the workplace.

EP Electric’s Annual 3-on-3 Basketball Tourney Crowns Champion, Helps Child Crisis Center

El Paso Electric held their 3rd Annual 3-on-3 Basketball tournament at Burges High School over the weekend, and while a champion was crowned, one group dedicated to helping children was the overall winner.

Proceeds from the tournament – entry fees from each team and profits from the concession stands – went to support the El Paso Child Crisis Center.  Each of the 12 teams donated a minimum of $20 to participate in the annual tournament, which also went to the center.

According to EPE officials, the total donation to the Child Crisis Center totals just over $4,ooo.

For those EPE employees who didn’t play or make the games on Saturday, they were able to contribute to the fund during the year. As part of their corporate contribution, El Paso Electric also matched $0.50 to every $1 an employee donated.

Officials with EPE also thanked the staff, students and administration at Burges High School for their help with scorekeeping, bracket updates, concession stand staffing and for the use of their gym.

EPE Champions from 'Team Practice' left to right: Juan Esparza, Steven Sierra, Christian Corral , Mario Alarcon, and Daniel Terrazas.
EPE Champions from ‘Team Practice’ left to right: Juan Esparza, Steven Sierra, Christian Corral , Mario Alarcon, and Daniel Terrazas.

Urban Energy Forum to Discuss El Paso’s Energy Future

The City of El Paso Office of Resilience and Sustainability and the Department of Economic and International Development, in partnership with the Hub of Human Innovation and the Hunt Institute for Global Competitiveness, is hosting the Urban Energy Forum tomorrow.

The Forum is aimed at exploring energy, technology, and sustainability and includes a dialogue surrounding the future of energy and industry in the Paso Del Norte region.

The workshop will tap into the knowledge and experience of participants as they exchange ideas regarding regional energy challenges and industry development with the intention of uncovering an innovative path forward.

Key partners bringing their expertise to the table include USGBC Texas Chapter, El Paso Electric and the Borderplex Alliance.

Recommendations generated at the forum will be reviewed by groups of local stakeholders including the City of El Paso’s newly formed Regional Renewable Energy Advisory Council.

The forum will run from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 18, at the Templeton Suite (500 W. University Ave. Student Union East UTEP.)

El Paso Electric Announces Completion of 3rd Generating Unit at Montana Power Station

El Paso Electric (EPE) welcomes the completion of the newest power generating unit at the Montana Power Station (MPS) located in east El Paso, Texas. This is the third unit with an 88-megawatt (MW) turbine powered by natural gas at MPS.

Unit 3 was completed on-time and on budget and will provide electricity to more than 40,000 homes. MPS Unit 3 follows the completion of Units 1 and 2, which became operational in March of 2015.

These units are already performing, as expected, at about a 40% capacity factor and even higher during the summer months.

Photo 1 - El Paso Electric - Montana Power Station Generation Unit 3“Our local generation is necessary to meet customer electricity needs during periods of high usage and the quick-starting capability of these units allows us to effectively follow changes in customer load,” said Andy Ramirez, Vice President of Power Generation at El Paso Electric. “By investing in local generation, we improve our reliability for our customers and make sure we meet their electrical load requirements.”

MPS Unit 4 is currently under construction, and when completed at the end of this year, these four generating units will be capable of generating enough energy to provide electricity to more than 160,000 homes and will add 352 MW of efficient, reliable and clean burning natural gas power to our system. These new generating units are 20% to 37% more efficient than older conventional steam units.

The state-of-the-art 88-MW simple cycle aero-derivative combustion turbine is powered by natural gas and has quick start capabilities which allows the unit to go from off-line to full output in less than 10 minutes, thus increasing overall power grid stability, and work in concert with the Company’s renewable energy sources.

MPS Unit 4, identical to the other three MPS units, is expected to reach commercial operation September 2016. The peaking capability and technology of these units, will allow EPE to meet our customers’ energy‐demand fluctuations in an efficient and cost‐effective manner, especially in the summer.

“El Paso Electric is always planning ahead to ensure we meet the future needs of our growing community,” said Mary Kipp, El Paso Electric CEO.  “We continue to see an increase in the number of customers we serve and we plan for the growth in our region by replacing less efficient equipment to maintain reliability and to meet the needs of our customers.”

The average age of EPE’s local generation is more than 47 years old.

El Paso Electric Launches new App to report Outages

El Paso Electric launches a brand-new app that allows customers to report power outages via their mobile devices.

Rolled out on February 15, El Paso Electric’s new MyEPE allows users of the app to literally cut the cord when reporting outages. Now they simply do it with the touch of a button.

According to El Paso Electric officials, the new app features:

  • Secure log-in to view residential properties associated with your account number
  • Report your power outages and receive restoration updates
  • Follow social media posts by EPE
  • Update contact information, including phone number and email address
  • Receive an email, text or message if there is an outage that has occurred at your home (you must be registered in the app)
  • App is also available in Spanish

To download the new My EPE Outage Notification App users can visit:

Apple App Store (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad)

Google Play Store (Android smartphones only)

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