KSAT Defenders: Customers criticize CPS Energy for employee bonuses

CPS Energy executives get 32% of their salary


SAN ANTONIO - CPS Energy customers are criticizing the bonuses being handed out to executives at the city owned utility.

Many say the $16.2 million in incentive pay is too much when their bills are going up.

CPS Energy CEO Doyle Beneby has a special incentive deal. His top deputies are getting a 32 percent bonus from what most say is a well-run utility. Jelynn Burley will be taking home $96,000 on top of her $300,000 yearly salary.

Other top employees will add similar amounts paid in a lump sum.

Roxanne Smith is a CPS Energy customer and was at one of the utility’s satellite offices on Monday.

"They're doing a great job (and) they deserve a bonus, but I think it's out of control," Smith said.

Customers Anita Sandoval and John Jimenez agreed.

"That's too much money for them to get," Sandoval said.

"It is extremely too much so they need to review that again," Jimenez said.

Lisa Lewis of CPS Energy defended the bonuses and said incentive pay is hard to earn and that CPS employees generally make less than employees at other power companies.

"On average, CPS pays at the 50th percentile,” Lewis said. “Most utilities pay at the 75th percentile."

She said in order to get better pay, safety, performance, financial and customer satisfaction goals must be achieved.

"The employee has to perform,” Lewis said. “The employees have to perform in order to receive the incentive. This is not something that is an automatic."

She said salaries make up only 11 percent of the CPS budget and the incentive pay is only 6 percent of that budget.

Executives at CPS Energy will earn 32 percent bonuses, managers a little less and front line employees who make overtime will make a 1 percent bonus.

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