PUC: Competitive utility market unlikely for El Paso

News

Recent outages across the Borderland have El Pasoans frustrated with not having a choice in picking their utility companies.     

NewsChannel9 talked  with the Public Utility Commission of Texas to ask if there is a possibility that another competing utility company could come to El Paso.

Since El Paso is not a competitive market, meaning El Pasoans don’t have a choice when it comes to  using El Paso Electric, Texas Gas Services, or El Paso Water Utilities. The PUC says it is not impossible for other utility companies to make their way to El Paso, but they believe it is highly unlikely because of how long the process takes.

“For such a big change it would take most of the support of the people of El Paso, all the lawmakers in El Paso from the state level to the local level to the municipal level to make it successful,” said Terry Hadley, a spokesperson for PUC.

Hadley says this has never happened in El Paso’s history and the decision was made by El Paso representatives  in 1999, when the retail market was open to competition in Texas. He says council voted to remain a traditional monopoly. 

According to Hadley, El Paso is outside the main electric grid that serves Texas and therefore belongs to an inter-state grid, so adding a competitor would require federal intervention.

Hadley says changing that now would essentially require a change in the law and that would require a full court press by current leaders.  

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