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Home | Tag Archives: el paso electric

Tag Archives: el paso electric

El Paso Electric celebrates Summer Interns for their efforts, contributions

For a large majority of teenagers who are currently attending school, summer is primetime for ‘R & R’ – rest and relaxation before heading back to school this fall; however, for 18 young adults, this summer was extra special as they made up El Paso Electric’s (EPE) 2019 Summer Internship Program cohort.

“My internship with El Paso Electric has taught me more than I could have imagined,” reflects Katya Marquez, 2019 EPE summer college intern. “This experience is preparing me in a number of ways from public speaking, to working with deadlines, to gaining knowledge from hands on training. I am very thankful for this opportunity to make an impact in our community with the Corporate Social Responsibility project while getting closer to my goal of becoming an electrical engineer.”

At a reception held Friday, August 2, at the Utility’s headquarters in Downtown El Paso, EPE employees along with friends and family of this year’s high school and college interns celebrated the completion of the 7th year of the program and all of their accomplishments.

“For high school students, the transition from the junior year to senior year is incredibly pivotal in the educational journey for any student, so having access to internships of this type can be a unique experience in determining what trajectory they choose to take,” shares interim CEO of EPE Adrian J. Rodriguez.

“Each student – both high school and college – will become a vital part of the team gaining insight to the Utility while experiencing integral partnerships built by a local company.”

One of the major components to the EPE summer internship is the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Project, an annual initiative in which the students identify a need within the community and find creative ways to help address it.

This year, the EPE intern cohort built a STEAM Lab at the El Paso Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) and unveiled it on July 30, 2019, that included a donation of $2,000 to help maintain the Lab through the year.

“Giving back to those in need is very important because here in El Paso we need to grow together,” said Javier Villalba, intern with EPE Human Resources Department. “This year’s CSR project has helped impact the lives of children at the ASYMCA, as well as offer me insight on leadership, organization and even presentation skills.”

EPE’s Summer Internship Program provides students with opportunities to develop leadership and teamwork skills through various group projects and work assignments.

Each student is placed with an EPE department to learn work skills related to their future educational and/or career goals. The internship included a learning curriculum that covers the fundamentals of power generation, transmission, and distribution.

Students also participated in trainings that teach about business, finance, leadership and management skills.

El Paso Children’s Hospital, El Paso Electric partner to expand Pediatric Surgical Services

On Thursday, El Paso Electric (EPE) in partnership with El Paso Children’s Hospital (EPCH) named a hospital room in honor of EPE’s $25,000 donation that will assist in the expansion of pediatric surgical services.

Watts of Courage, formally known as Room 762, will be the newest hospital room welcomed to EPCH’s 7th floor Oncology Department.

The room adorned with EPE’s mighty Power Pack – the Utility’s mascots who represent different aspects of the electric infrastructure – aims to serve as a source of inspiration and resilience for the warriors battling and overcoming cancer.

“Partnerships such as the one with El Paso Electric are very instrumental in helping the community understand the level of services provided here,” shares EPCH’s CEO Cindy Stout. “We continue to grow our services to ensure that the level of care we offer is what we need for all the children of our community.”

The $25,000 donation from EPE, part of the Utility’s Community Partner Program, will help EPCH ensure they have access to the latest equipment for the pediatric cases in the Paso del Norte region. Since opening in 2012 EPCH has reduced the number of children having to leave El Paso for services by 85%.

Nikki Rhodes, who’s daughter is an EPCH patient, states, “It is an amazing thing to have El Paso Children’s Hospital right here for children who need it most. I hope they get the same quality experience and convenience we did here in El Paso, which was quick, personal and what we needed.”

As a result of EPE’s $25,000 donation, EPE employees had the opportunity to be part of this larger initiative by naming the EPCH hospital room – Watts of Courage.

“We are happy that our employees were able to participate in an initiative that is so much bigger than all of us,” states EPE’s Vice President of Strategic Communications, Customer and Community Engagement Eddie Gutierrez. “The local services that our contribution will help provide to our community are important to El Paso Electric. These children are our future, and we want to do our part to make our community healthy and safe for all our families.”

With the help of EPE and other community partnerships, EPCH is able to help ensure families stay close to home and get the specialized care in El Paso.

El Paso Electric Makes Community Partnership Donation to El Paso Children's Hospital

El Paso Electric (EPE) in partnership with El Paso Children’s Hospital (EPCH) named a hospital room in honor of EPE’s $25,000 donation that will assist in the expansion of pediatric surgical services. The $25,000 donation from EPE, part of the Utility’s Community Partner Program, will help EPCH ensure they have access to the latest equipment for the pediatric cases in the Paso del Norte region.

Posted by El Paso Electric on Thursday, July 25, 2019

El Pasoan Adrian Rodriguez named Interim CEO of EP Electric; Kipp heads to Washington State

El Paso Electric Company (EPE) today announced that the Company’s Board of Directors has appointed Adrian Rodriguez, EPE’s Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Assistant Secretary, as interim Chief Executive Officer.

These appointments are effective beginning August 1, 2019 and follow Mary Kipp’s (EPE’s current CEO and President) decision to accept the position of President with Puget Sound Energy in Washington state.

EPE officials added, to ensure a smooth transition, Kipp will continue with EPE until August 1, 2019.

Adrian Rodriguez, EPE’s Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Assistant Secretary

Rodriguez, a native of El Paso, joined EPE in 2013 and was appointed as an Officer of the Company and Senior Vice President, General Counsel in 2017.  In his role at El Paso Electric, Rodriguez has worked closely with other members of the executive leadership team in developing the Company’s strategy and overseeing EPE’s operations, with Rodriguez responsible for EPE’s Legal, Governance, External Affairs and Regulatory and Rates departments.

“Adrian has a strong record of leadership and accomplishment at El Paso Electric,” Charles Yamarone, Chairperson of the El Paso Electric Board, shared.  “Adrian has consistently prioritized community service in his home town of El Paso, and his knowledge of our operations and our culture make him a natural choice to take on this responsibility.

The Board has the utmost confidence that Adrian and the leadership team, alongside the dedicated EPE employees across the organization, will successfully guide the Company as it continues to deliver exceptional service to the region.”

“In my role as the interim CEO I look forward to working with the rest of the senior management team, our strong union and all employees while keeping EPE focused on our vision for delivering safe, clean, affordable and reliable energy to our community,” shared Rodriguez.

“I also want to thank Mary for setting the path towards a cleaner energy future and for her years of dedicated work to our community.”

Kipp

“El Paso Electric’s commitments to our customers and our region, the place I have called home since I was a child, will continue after my departure. I am fully confident in the leadership of our management team and Adrian,” shares Kipp.

“Realizing this is an important time for El Paso Electric, I have weighed the choice to depart very carefully as I considered, at length, the long-term plans for me and my family. My decision to move to Puget Sound Energy will allow my son to be closer to family which is very important to both of us.”

Kipp has been with EPE since 2007 and was named president in September 2014, appointed CEO in December 2015, and President & CEO in May 2017.The Company’s biggest accomplishments under Kipp’s leadership have included the expansion of renewable energy and sustainability initiatives in our region in response to evolving customer demands.

“As the Company’s CEO, Mary has worked tirelessly to make the community proud of El Paso Electric’s accomplishments and

Elaina Ball, EPE’s Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer

contributions to the region,” added Yamarone.

“In addition to maintaining EPE’s status as an industry leader and major economic driver for the local economy, the Company achieved numerous milestones under Mary’s leadership, most notably becoming coal free in 2016. On behalf of the entire Board, I want to thank Mary for her years of service and dedication, as well as for her help with this transition.”

The Board has also appointed Elaina Ball, EPE’s Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, as interim Chief Operating  Officer.

Landy Gilbert, Managing Director, of J.P. Morgan’s Infrastructure Investments Group, Investment Advisor to the Infrastructure Investments Fund (IIF) released the following statement:

We have been informed that Mary E. Kipp has accepted a position at Puget Sound Energy and that the El Paso Electric Board of Directors has appointed Adrian J. Rodriguez interim Chief Executive Officer and Elaina L. Ball as interim Chief Operating Officer.

While this was unexpected since we had planned for Mary to continue as CEO of the Company, we know that talent runs deep throughout the EPE organization. We share the Board’s confidence in Adrian and Elaina, and look forward to continuing to work with them and the broader EPE team to complete the transaction and partner together for the benefit of EPE and its stakeholders.  

Below is the letter Ms. Kipp sent to all EPE Employees:

To: All El Paso Electric Employees

Team,

After being part of the El Paso Electric family for 12 years, I am announcing to you that I am leaving the Company in the hands of a strong leadership team including Adrian Rodriguez, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Assistant Secretary, who will serve as interim CEO. I have accepted a position as president of Puget Sound Energy in Washington state.

My move is not a result of our agreement to be purchased by IIF. I believe that this agreement is a great partnership between EPE and IIF and leaves the Company, employees, and communities we serve in a better position than they have ever been.

This was a difficult decision for me to make, as I’ve called this area home for many years. My family, as I’m sure yours is as well, is my top priority. Major life events provide each of us with an opportunity to reflect and, if necessary, make changes. Given some recent events in my life, I have decided to pursue the next chapter of my life and my career closer to my family. I will remain with EPE until August 1, 2019, and will then make the move to help my son get settled before the start of the school year in his new middle school.

The goals I have seen all of you accomplish have been monumental. You have successfully brought Montana Power Station online, right after celebrating the opening of the Eastside Operations Center. You have expanded our renewable energy portfolio in stride with launching the inaugural Community Solar program for Texas customers. You also became one of the first utilities in the region to generate coal-free electricity and released the Company’s first Corporate Sustainability Report. These and so many more achievements are all thanks to the hard work and dedication of each of you.

I am so proud and grateful to have been a part of the EPE family over these last few years, and I will be available today in the Stanton Auditorium at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. to answer any questions you may have. Additional meetings at all EPE locations will be scheduled the week of July 8th. Thank you for the lasting memories but most importantly, I hope you will stay in touch as we continue in our respective journeys.

Kind Regards,

Mary Kipp President and Chief Executive Officer

 

EP Electric CEO announces company’s purchase by Infrastructure Investments Fund

On Monday, El Paso Electric‘s CEO Mary Kipp announced the purchase of El Paso Electric by Infrastructure Investments Fund (IIF), an investment vehicle advised by J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc.

Via their social media channels, Kipp shared that “On June 3, 2019 we announced a significant, long-term investment in our service area. Infrastructure Investments Fund (IIF), an investment vehicle advised by J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc., has agreed to acquire EPE.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the deal is worth an estimated $2.79 billion dollars.

“As we look to the future and the long-term investment needed to meet the growing energy needs of our communities, this is a major step in EPE’s ongoing commitment to providing safe, clean, affordable and reliable energy to you, our customers,” Kipp went on to say.

Kipp’s statement shares that IIF is responsible for investing and growing the retirement funds of more than 40 million families, including 2 million people across Texas and New Mexico who will be invested in EPE.

“The IIF family of companies includes a number of other utilities. They are a leading investor in renewable energy and have a track record of delivering for the communities they partner with, Kipp’s statement continued. “Let me assure you that now and in the future, we will continue providing you with safe and reliable service. We also are committed to communicating with our customers, employees and communities with transparency and respect.”

The sale to IIF is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions; EPE officials add they expect to complete the closing in the first half of 2020.

EPE and IIF have agreed to a number of customer, employee and community commitments, which will take effect upon closing and include:

  • Electric Bill Credit for Customers: EPE and IIF have committed to provide a credit on customer electric bills in the amount of $21 million over 36 months.
  • Continuity of Local Workforce: IIF has made real commitments to ensure EPE’s workforce, including union and non-union employees and management, will remain in place.
  • Community Contributions: EPE and IIF remain committed to $1.2 million in annual charitable contributions in our service area under the existing Community Partner Program, which provides employee engagement with and financial support to the many local organizations that positively impact the well-being of our communities.
  • Community Economic Sustainability Fund: EPE and IIF commit to establishing a Community Economic Sustainability Fund to invest $100 million over 20 years to fund growth and economic development in our service area.
  • Maintain Local Presence: EPE’s headquarters will remain in El Paso, Texas.

“This agreement will better position EPE to meet the future energy needs of our service area. The partnership with IIF will enhance our ability to fulfill commitments to you – our customers – and the communities we serve, including investment in more renewable energy resources, local generation and other infrastructure needs,” Kipp added.

As far as their local ties and community contributions, Eddie Gutierrez, Vice President of Communications, Customer and Community Engagement, explained what the sale would mean to their community partners.

El Paso Electric donates $10,000 to TTUHSC El Paso Initiatives

At the 2019 Community Partner Awards Reception, El Paso Electric donated $10,000 to the Texas Tech Foundation in support of programs at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.

The gift will be split between nursing scholarships, the Medical Student Run Clinic and sponsorship of the university’s Cookies, Cocoa and Holiday Cheer community event, which invites the community to the campus to enjoy holiday treats, festive skits and a holiday lights show.

Nursing scholarships are especially important in El Paso to help students who normally could not afford school, helping to ease the nursing shortage in the city.

The Medical Student Run Clinic provides free primary health care screenings to the Sparks community in Far East El Paso County.

Volunteer work at the clinic provides students from the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine with an opportunity to work in a real clinical environment while also developing a relationship with the community.

Eddie Gutiérrez, vice president of strategic communications, customer and community engagement, said community partnerships and giving are important to El Paso Electric.

“While providing safe, clean, reliable and sustainable energy for our growing community is at the core of our business, serving as a community partner is part of our mission in moving us all forward. The EPE Community Partner Program is incredibly intentional about who is awarded these donations, ensuring that these organizations are making a positive and local impact.”

El Paso Electric gave out awards to more than 70 community partners at the April 11 event.

Project Vida Receives $135K for Micro-Business Economic Development

Thanks to the participation of several local businesses, foundations and government, Project Vida‘s Microenterprise Technical Assistance Program (MTAP) has been funded to the tune of $135,000.

GECU, El Paso Electric, WestStar Bank, Hunt Family Foundation, United Way of El Paso County and the City of El Paso all contributed a to Project Vida’s MTAP – the grassroots asset-building economic development project.

Awards include El Paso Electric $10,000; GECU $10,000; WestStar Bank $5,000; Hunt Family Foundation $5,000; United Way $15,333; and the City of El Paso $90,000 from a Community Development Block Grant.

“MTAP engages marginal low- and moderate-income micro-business owners with business and financial literacy, management skill-building, and pathways to job retention and job creation,” Project Vida officials shared via a Friday morning news release.

MTAP transfers the community health worker/promotora model of outreach and trust-building to a business model of financial stability, asset-building, entry into the mainstream economy and growth toward small business status.

From 2013 to 2018, MTAP enrolled nearly 750 qualifying microenterprise owners in the program helping them retain 561 jobs and create 471 new jobs.

For more information on Project Vida or the Microenterprise Technical Assistance Program, contact Bill Schlesinger at (915) 533-7057, ext. 207, or w.schlesinger@pvida.net

EP Electric Plans to Add 100’s of Megawatts of Solar Energy, Battery Storage by 2023

On Monday, officials with El Paso Electric (EPE) announced a plan to add both resources and infrastructure ahead of anticipated demand over the next 5 years.

“These technologies provide a mix of carbon-free renewable and clean burning natural gas generation that will enable us to meet the growing need for power in our region in a safe, clean, reliable, and cost-effective manner,” said Mary Kipp, El Paso Electric President and Chief Executive Officer. “This balanced combination of resources will work with our existing energy portfolio as we move to retire aging, less efficient plants while continuing to meet our customers’ changing energy needs.”

According to EPE officials, they have identified generation resource additions needed by the 2022-2023 summer peak season.  The generation mix includes utility scale solar, battery storage, and natural gas.

The anticipated operational date for the new gas turbine is 2023, at an expected cost of $143 million.

“Through initial resource planning studies, EPE determined that it requires additional generating capacity of approximately 50 MW by 2022 and 320 MW by 2023 for a total of 370 MW,” the document released on social media stated.

“After careful evaluation of the competitive 2017 All Source Request for Proposals for Electric Power Supply and Load Management Resources (RFP), the winning bids include the expected energy purchase of 200 megawatts (MW) of utility scale solar resources, 100 MW of battery storage, and the construction of a 226 MW natural gas combustion turbine generating unit at the Company’s Newman Power Station in northeast El Paso.”

In addition, EPE expects to pursue the purchase of 50 to 150 MW of wind and solar-generated power to provide for “fuel diversity and energy cost savings.”

Officials added, “The mix of new capacity underscores EPE’s strategic goal to remain at the forefront in advancing renewable energy and expanding its overall energy portfolio with cost-effective, diverse and competitive-based energy resources for its customers.”

El Paso Electric Accepting Applications for 7th Annual Summer High School Internship Program

El Paso Electric (EPE) is now accepting applications for the 2019 Summer High School Internship Program.

The paid internship opportunity, in its seventh year, is open to all high school juniors in EPE’s service area (Van Horn, TX to Hatch, NM). The application deadline is February 3, 2019.

EPE’s Summer Internship Program provides students with the opportunities to develop leadership and teamwork skills through various group projects and work assignments. Each student will be placed in a department to learn work skills related to their future educational and/or career goals.

The internship will include a learning curriculum that covers the fundamentals of power generation, transmission, and distribution. Students will also participate in training sessions that teach about business, finance, leadership and management skills.

“The transition from your junior year to senior year in high school is incredibly pivotal in the educational career for any student, so having

Photo courtesy EPE

access to internships of this type can be a unique experience in determining what trajectory they choose to take,” shares EPE President and CEO Mary Kipp.

“Each student will become an integral part of the team gaining insight to the energy industry while experiencing the power of community partnerships built by a local company.”

A major component to the summer internship is the Corporate Social Responsibility Project, an annual initiative in which the students identify a need within the community and find creative ways to help address it.

High school students interested in the EPE summer internship program can access the application online and click on “Career Opportunities.” There is no application fee.

Qualifications

  • Currently enrolled as a high school junior in an accredited high school within the EPE service territory (Van Horn, TX to Hatch, NM)
  • Must be classified as a high school junior for the 2018-2019 academic school year and entering their senior year beginning August 2019
  • Must have an overall high school G.P.A. of a 3.0/4.0 or above
  • Must be legally authorized to work in the United States
  • Must be available to work Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. from Monday, June 10, 2019 – Friday, August 2, 2019.

 

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%
Amy’s Ambassadorship
Soccer/Volleyball 728
Lucha 728
EP ELEC 2019 728×729
Utep Football Generic 728
Mountains 728
STEP 728
Bordertown Undergroun Show 728
Khalid 728