EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – With the rate hike that El Paso Electric is proposing, a typical residential customer could see their monthly bill increase by about $11.76. If approved, that would increase EPE’s revenues by $69.7 million.
President and CEO El Paso Electric Kelly Tomblin says the increase is based on experts determining how much money was spent on what and how much revenue was made over the past four years.
“We’re not allowed to increase rates without regulatory approval. So what we do is go to regulator and say, it used to cost this much, we’ve spent this much. Can we have a rate increase.And they’ll determine what portion of those expenditures will go into rates going forward. So the risk is always on us because we have already spent the money,” said Tomblin.
Tomblin said it’s important to keep the electric company reliable.
“We want to keep it affordable. we really do but at the same time we don’t want to be behind and in some areas we are,” she said.
Tomblin said investing, for example, in technology that allowed El Paso Electric to continue operating during February’s winter storm while the rest of the state lost power. That’s after El Paso Electric invested about 7 million dollars in dual fuel capability.
“When no one could get gas, we were able to operate out power plant on a different fuel. Now it costs $7 million but we saved $19 million dollars during that one day,” Tomblin said.
If there is a rate increase, customers would start seeing it on their bills sometime next year. Later this year, El Paso Electric will be asking customers to voice their opinions.