SAN ANTONIO – CPS Energy customers can expect higher bills this month as the first of several planned rate increases goes into effect.
A rate increase of 3.85% went into effect on Tuesday and the utility is planning more rate hikes over the next five years.
CPS Energy officials say that the rate increase will add an additional $3.84 to the average residential customer’s monthly bill.
In addition, there will be an average increase of $1.26 per month in the fuel adjustment portion of a customer’s bill that CPS Energy says will help recover $418 million in “paid legitimate fuel costs” the utility incurred during February 2021′s winter storm. The additional fuel adjustment is being spread over the next 25 years of bills.
“Combined, the total rate increase costs would be approximately $5.10 for the average electric and natural gas residential customer,” said CPS Energy officials.
Customers can find these charges on their monthly bill in the Service Availability Charge and Energy Charge sections for both electric and natural gas. The winter storm fuel costs will be included in the Fuel Adjustment Charge, which fluctuates monthly with the cost of fuel.
This new rate hike is expected to bring in about $73 million, according to a previous KSAT report.
CPS Energy officials say they plan to have annual rate evaluations and are projecting a 5.5% rate increase in 2025 and an additional 5.5% increase in 2027.
If those projected increases take effect that would bring about a nearly 15% rate increase from CPS Energy in just 5 years.
The San Antonio utility said the four key components it plans to invest in with the initial 3.85% rate increase are:
- Infrastructure Resiliency – Power generation and distribution projects to support operations during extreme weather.
- Technology – Design a future technology platform to replace the 20-plus-year-old system.
- Growth – Keep up with the community’s continued strong growth.
- People – Retain and hire qualified employees needed to serve customers.
CPS Energy has been embroiled in controversy over the last several years. A recent Defender’s investigation revealed that former CPS Energy President & CEO Paula Gold-Williams received over $1 million in her final paycheck.
She announced her resignation last October, in addition to former Chief Operating Officer Fred Bonewell who resigned days after the Defenders exposed past ethics and spending complaints against him.
CPS Energy has promised transparency moving forward and the utility’s board is planning a probe into the company’s structure and operations.
Customers who are looking to save money on their bills can the My Energy Portal feature on the CPS Energy website. The portal provides customers the opportunity to track energy with behaviors and activities to make changes instead of waiting for the final bill.
The Affordability Discount Program also offers customers a way to help offset the new rate increase by offering discounts to low-income households.