CPS lowers rate increase proposal

Employee bonus program to be reduced by 50 percent

The CPS Board of Trustees voted unanimously Tuesday to lower the utility’s rate increase proposal from 4.75 percent to 4.25 percent.

“What that means is instead of an increase on the average bill of about $5.19, it’ll be under $5, at about $ 4.68 for the average household,” said CPS President and CEO Doyle Beneby.

After last month’s rate increase proposal, Beneby said the utility officials went back to find more ways to save customers money.

“We did it by reducing our bonus pool pay-out,” he said. “We have a certain amount that we earmark in our pay for performance program, and we’re reducing that amount by 50 percent for the two years of the rate increase.”

Beneby said CPS is also delaying several project.

“We have some really old buildings form the 1960s that we were going to upgrade, so in order to save some money to get down to 4.25 (percent), the last piece of it we are going to shift that work out for up to about a year.”

If approved, the rate increase would go into effect in February 2014.

Despite a unanimous vote, some trustees voiced concerns over the next round of rate increases.

“We're not in a position where we're kicking the can down the road to where we'll have to see a significant increase?” asked Homer Guevara.

“We can’t determine what the future looks like,” Beneby said. “But we assured our board that we're not kicking the can down the road, that our reduction amount is not going to be put in the next rate increase cycle.”

CPS will present the new proposal to the San Antonio City Council on Oct. 16.

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