Vote on CPS Energy rate hike set to happen next week

Energy company has proposed 3.85 percent increase; would take effect Mar. 1

SAN ANTONIO – CPS energy wants to raise rates. They say it’s needed to better weatherize equipment, get new equipment, to cover debt from the winter storm and for staff. They have proposed a 3.85 percent increase.

People have mixed emotions on the idea. Residents say they don’t want to pay more, but they have concerns of another potential February freeze that overwhelmed the systems.

“It was pretty cold, it was pretty cold in the house but we got through it. I think it’s way too high. Yes, I would be against it,” resident Laura Hernandez said.

“To help others to do a good job for the citizens that’s okay, I practically am left with almost nothing after paying all my bills. They’ve never cut off my lights, but I do begin to think where am I going to get that extra $10,″ Carolina Chavez said.

City council will vote on the proposition next Thursday, Jan. 13. District 1 Councilman Mario Bravo said he wants CPS Energy to operate the best they can, but he’s not sold on the increased rates just yet.

“First and foremost, we need to stabilize the organization. We’ve had so many people leave, we lost a CEO, and two chief operating officers,” Bravo said.

Last month, KSAT12′s Defenders team discovered that CPS executives had wasteful spending. It included limo rides as well as steak dinners. That spending was linked to executive Fred Bonniewell and former president and CEO Paula Gold Williams.

Councilman Bravo said he doesn’t think the increase rates are unreasonable. He just wants an outside study to be done before giving a green light. It’s not a no forever, but it’s a no for right now, he said.

“I’m reserving that decision until I can get firm details on a commitment to an outside study that can look at cost saving measures,” Bravo said.

About the Author

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.

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