Survey finds nearly 90% of people in San Antonio are cutting back on other expenses due to higher electric bills

KSAT Insiders, viewers share their experience with high electric bills this summer

City of San Antonio considers giving $30 million to thousands of CPS Energy, SAWS customers behind on their bills

SAN ANTONIO – The majority of CPS Energy customers surveyed by KSAT said they are seeing pricier electricity bills than usual, which is causing them to cut back on other expenses in order to cover the cost.

A total of 667 readers and viewers participated in the survey that asked people about the effects of their bills, as Texans deal with record-breaking heat and grapple with inflation.

The majority of participants are CPS Energy customers, but a small percentage of customers belonged to New Braunfels Utilities, GVEC and Floresville Electric Light & Power System.

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About 97.6% of KSAT viewers who took a survey said they are seeing a higher energy/electricity bill than usual. (KSAT/Google Sheets)

Nearly 98% of locals said they are seeing higher bills, about 85.6% said they are forced to cut back on other expenses, and 87% said they are actively searching for solutions to lower the price.

Customers said their bills increased anywhere from 20-100% in the last month.

How are they cutting back to afford the bills? Their examples ranged from trimming leisurely activities like shopping and traveling to limiting eating out at restaurants.

Here were some of the responses from the participants:

Some other solutions, they said, include using fans instead of air conditioning, getting solar panels, and unplugging electrical items when not in use.

About 85.6% of KSAT viewers who took a survey said they are cutting back on other expenses to cover recent electricity bills. (KSAT/Google Sheets)
About 87.1% of KSAT viewers who took a survey said they are actively trying to find ways to lower the cost of their utility bills. (KSAT/Google Sheets)

While this summer has been particularly brutal for consumers, utility bills in general may remain pricier than last year because CPS Energy just increased rates for customers.

A spokesperson for CPS Energy said the high bills are due to record-breaking heat and rising natural gas prices.

CPS Energy Infographic. (CPS Energy Infographic.)

The City of San Antonio has proposed giving $50 million back to customers in next year’s proposed budget because the utility is projected to bring in $75 million more than expected for the current fiscal year.

If the budget is approved, CPS Energy customers would receive about $50 million — $5 million for the utility’s assistance program for low-income customers and $45 million for customers.

The amount of money returned to locals would vary, but residential customers with a $230 bill in July would get a $31 credit.

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About the Author:

Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.