EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — City leaders are looking for more justification over El Paso Electric’s Advanced Metering System (AMS) proposal which would increase rates to all customers starting next year.
On Monday, City Council raised the question: How will this impact savings per customer in the long-run?
El Paso Electric (EPE) says it’s working to bring this AMS in hopes of having more efficiency in service and cost savings. However, all customers may start seeing that increase on their bill in January.
“So the surcharge actually becomes effective universally for all customers on January 2022,” said Jessica Christianson, Senior Director of Innovation and Sustainability with El Paso Electric.
Under the AMS proposal, all customers would see a $2.65 increase on their bills starting January of next year for up to 5 years. Then, $2.10 the following six years. This is part of a 12-year plan to implement the system which includes features such as remote connect/disconnect, real time energy usage, and budgeting options.
“There were great things that are really going to make it more efficient and make it better for the ratepayer, I would hope at the same time, we will see a decrease in the bill based on the great things you all presented to us,” said Mayor Oscar Leeser.
Officials with EPE said there may be a reduction on your bill in the future, but it’s still unclear if and when.
“Those are embedded in the surcharges that you see, the monthly surcharges. So a portion of at least the operational savings go to reduce what the customer is paying monthly on the surcharges,” said Jim Schichtl, Vice President of Regulatory and Government Affairs with El Paso Electric.
The Mayor and City Reps. are looking for more justification on potential savings costs for customers in the future.
“That to me is going to be absolutely critical to sharing with our constituents because they’re going to want to know if it’s going to be something that will be important to their household. Will it help the household,” said City Rep. Cassandra Hernandez.
The proposed timeline for AMS deployment would be in 2023 to 2025. EPE will also educate people about the system during this time.