Top CPS Energy leadership taking pay cut would show solidarity with customers, says San Antonio professor
As a proposed CPS Energy rate increase heads to the San Antonio City Council for a vote this week, some customers are saying not so fast. Many who left in the dark during last year’s winter storm are asking why utility leaders aren’t taking a pay cut instead.
CPS Energy’s Board of Trustees approves 3.85% rate increase
CPS Energy Board of Trustees unanimously approved <a href="https://www.ksat.com/news/local/2021/12/11/5-things-to-know-about-the-cps-energy-rate-hike/" target="_blank">a 3.85% rate increase</a> Monday. They also approved a regulatory asset, or a fuel adjustment charge, which the utility says will recover $418 million in fuel costs from last February’s winter storm.
Winter storm issues exposed a cascade of scandals at CPS Energy in 2021
While February’s deadly winter storm not only left hundreds of thousands of San Antonio residents without power in subfreezing temperatures, some for days on end, it also exposed a large number of organizational issues within CPS Energy, the largest public power company in the nation.
City, CPS Energy to collaborate against cyberattacks at new regional center
Through the new Alamo Regional Security Operations Center at Port San Antonio, city officials say they can collaborate closely with CPS Energy -- and possibly soon other local organizations -- to help each other better protect against cyberattacks.
CPS Energy rate hike coming amid ‘trust crisis,’ council warns utility
The utility needs council’s support to institute a two-pronged approach to raising customers’ bills: a 3.85 percent increase to the base rates and a bump in the fuel adjustment charge. Combined, CPS officials say those changes would raise the average residential customer’s bill by about 3.3 percent - or $5.10 per month.
Proposed congressional bill aims to prevent natural gas price gouging
February’s storm caused major shortages to the natural gas supply chain, which caused prices to skyrocket by 10,000%. It’s why U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio introduced a <a href="https://castro.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/congressman-castro-introduces-bill-to-prevent-natural-gas-price-gouging-during-emergencies?peek=EJ1ecvpPve%2FjxsSj2BH7DggoEPThCyXCDcvafa0miGf%2FDw3L">bill</a> Wednesday that would prevent natural gas price gouging during a declared emergency.
City of San Antonio considers giving $30 million to thousands of CPS Energy, SAWS customers behind on their bills
The City of San Antonio is considering using a $30 million chunk of the federal money it received from the American Rescue Plan Act to help pay off or pay down the overdue utility bills of struggling San Antonio residents.
Council members fret about process for SAWS and CPS board appointees, but not enough to derail new trustees
Council members’ concerns over the process for appointing trustees to the city’s water and utilities spurred lengthy discussions Thursday, but ultimately weren’t enough to derail the newest SAWS and CPS Energy board appointments.
CPS Energy CEO says utility is fighting natural gas suppliers in court ‘every day.’ But they’ve dropped multiple lawsuits.
CPS Energy officials have dismissed at least three lawsuits against natural gas suppliers it accused of price gouging and charging exorbitant rates for fuel during February’s winter blast, court records obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders show.
CPS Energy executive’s comment about ‘Mexicans’ drew ethics complaint, records show
The ethnically insensitive comment, made in front of four fellow employees, led to a complaint being filed against Bonewell with the utility’s Ethics and Compliance Hotline a week later, internal CPS records obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders show.
Approval rating of beleaguered CPS Energy continues to sink, Bexar Facts poll shows
Amid continued bad publicity over its handling of February’s deadly winter storm and as it draws closer to formally asking for a double-digit rate increase, the job approval rating of CPS Energy continues to sink, according to a new poll of likely Bexar County voters.
CPS Energy, SAWS shut-offs are restarting after pandemic pause. Here’s what you need to know.
The city’s water and power utilities both put a hold on service disconnections in March 2020 because of the pandemic. Since then, the number of customers behind on their payments has swelled. Now they’re at risk unless they can start making good on their past-due accounts.
CPS Energy trustees provide ambiguous plan for museum-adjacent property
The future of a downtown CPS Energy-owned property is still uncertain, after CPS Energy trustees voted 4-1 Monday to seemingly both pursue a plan to give part of the property away, and also to look into options for selling it if that doesn’t pan out.
CPS Energy lays out case for double-digit rate increase
The utility has not increased its rates for about eight years, but speaking with media members on Monday, CEO Paula Gold-Williams listed off issues like unpaid bills, investment in infrastructure, and $1 billion in bills related to the February Freeze, as helping to drive the likely rate increase.
CPS Energy trustees to consider whether to give away or sell downtown real estate
Back in 2015, CPS Energy’s trustees at the time agreed to split a nearly 7-acre surplus property at the corner of Camden Street and W. Jones Avenue in half, conveying the southern portion to the San Antonio Museum of Art while selling off the northern portion. Now, staring down the barrel of some tough financial straits, including a near-certain rate increase, the utility's current trustees will need to decide if giving away millions of dollars worth of prime, downtown real estate is still the best idea.
CPS Energy CEO’s treatment left senior staff ‘dejected, despondent and downtrodden,’ newly released complaint alleges
Officials with CPS Energy this month were forced to release a copy of a 2020 complaint that alleges its president and CEO, Paula Gold Williams, repeatedly mistreated members of the utility’s senior leadership team.
CPS Energy works to restore power to customers in San Antonio area after Labor Day storms
CPS Energy worked overnight to restore power across San Antonio after <a href="https://www.ksat.com/weather/2021/09/06/afternoon-downpours-possible-on-labor-day/" target="_blank">Labor Day thunderstorms</a><a href="https://www.ksat.com/weather/2021/09/06/afternoon-downpours-possible-on-labor-day/" target="_blank"> </a>caused thousands of residents and businesses to lose power.
4 things we’ve learned since February’s deadly winter storm
It’s been six months since the deadly February winter storm left millions across the state without power for days, and many questions about what went wrong remain unanswered. The KSAT Explains team and the Defenders have been closely following the fallout of the storm. We take a look at four things we've learned so far.
CPS Energy employees paid hundreds of thousands despite not showing up for work due to call-in blunders
Before Fred Bonewell was promoted in June to be CPS Energy’s new chief operating officer, his signature appeared on a March 2017 agreement that laid out the working conditions for the utility’s wage-scale employees.
CPS Energy seeks to block release of complaints against president, CEO Paula Gold-Williams
Attorneys hired by CPS Energy have attempted to block the release of complaints filed against President & CEO Paula Gold-Williams by members of the utility’s senior legal team, claiming their contents are confidential and should remain out of public view.
Complaints against embattled Gold-Williams preceded senior legal team’s exodus from CPS Energy
CPS Energy’s senior legal team lodged internal complaints against its President and CEO Paula Gold-Williams in the weeks before the attorneys resigned from the utility, internal records obtained this week by the KSAT 12 Defenders confirm.
San Antonio Emergency Preparedness Committee member gives sneak peak of winter storm response findings
The city of San Antonio is hoping the final findings of the February winter storm’s response efforts are polished before being released, which is why the date of release is now June 24 instead of June 15.
CPS Energy weather bills ‘seriously past due’ two weeks before deadly winter storm, records show
Two weeks before a deadly winter storm hit San Antonio, killing a still untold number of people, CPS Energy had become ‘seriously past due’ on bills for its customized weather platform, records obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders confirm.
City opens Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center as shelter while CPS crews work to restore power
San Antonio city leaders announced on Saturday that the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center would be utilized as a shelter while CPS Energy crews continue to work to restore power to more than 5,000 area customers following severe thunderstorms.
Committee reviewing winter freeze response expects to finish by June 15
Former District 8 Councilman Reed Williams told city council he expects the Committee on Emergency Preparedness to wrap up its work with a report by June 15. Mayor Ron Nirenberg established the committee to examine what went wrong during February's winter freeze, which left many without power or water.
MAP: Current power outages in Bexar County
For the latest updates on outages, click <a href="https://outagemap.cpsenergy.com/" target="_blank">here </a>or view the map below. More on the forecast <a href="https://www.ksat.com/weather/2022/01/13/wildfire-risk-for-san-antonio-surrounding-areas-saturday/" target="_blank">here</a>.
After spending hundreds of thousands on weather platform, CPS Energy entrusted college student to forecast with it
CPS Energy, the nation’s largest municipally owned utility company, gets its weather forecasts from a college student who has not been compensated more than $716 in a single week, invoices obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders show.
As customers suffered in the cold, Gold-Williams and other CPS Energy leaders drafted letter in support of management
During the third day of February’s bitter freeze, as hundreds of thousands of CPS Energy customers tried to survive without power, President and CEO Paula Gold-Williams and other senior leaders of the utility drafted a letter of support for her and management, according to internal emails obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders.
‘Caught flat-footed’: Energy experts, lawsuits claim CPS has itself to blame for $700 million in natural gas bills
As CPS Energy continues to file lawsuits against entities it claims contributed to massive natural gas bills it racked up during February’s winter storm, energy experts and officials from some the companies targeted by the suits say the utility’s poor risk management is to blame.
Six SA families have now filed wrongful death lawsuits against CPS Energy following winter storm
Two more San Antonio families joined a growing list of people who have filed wrongful death lawsuits against CPS Energy, claiming the utility contributed to the deaths of their loved ones in February, court records obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders show.
18-wheeler flips, takes down highway sign, power lines on I-35 on San Antonio’s Northeast Side
18-wheeler took out road sign and power lines on I-35 near Eisenhauer Road on Tuesday afternoon. San Antonio police said that the estimated damage to the power and communication lines is $1.5 million dollars. The collision happened at Interstate Highway 35 North and Eisenhauer Road and involved an 18-wheeler. An 18-wheeler was involved in a crash Tuesday afternoon that took down a road sign and a utility pole near I-35 and Eisenhauer Road. An 18-wheeler was involved in a crash Tuesday afternoon that took down a road sign and a utility pole near I-35 and Eisenhauer Road.
CPS Energy accuses natural gas suppliers of price gouging during winter storm, files lawsuits
CPS Energy CEO says the company is facing $1 billion in charges after winter stormSAN ANTONIO – CPS Energy has filed lawsuits against many of its natural gas suppliers for “unlawful and unconscionable price gouging” during the February winter storm. According to a news release, certain natural gas suppliers charged CPS Energy up to 15,000% more for natural gas. The utility said the price hike came during a time when 52% of the electricity generated was from natural gas. CPS Energy claims that Comstock Resources, a natural gas producer from Texas, stated that the natural gas prices they were able to charge during the winter storm were “…like hitting the jackpot...” the release said. That is essentially what happened with natural gas prices during the storm.
SA City Council approves $500M line of credit for CPS Energy as part of multifaceted strategic plan
The $500 million line of credit is part of a multifaceted strategic plan intended to protect customers from high costs. CPS Energy officials will be seeking federal and state financial and policy assistance, regulatory intervention and other avenues, such as negotiations. CPS Energy says it’s facing charges of more than $1 billion for the power and natural gas it purchased during the February winter storm when prices for both skyrocketed. AdThere was little discussion during the meeting about how the financing would eventually affect CPS Energy customers. “The utility will only utilize this line of credit when it is needed and, if utilized, the debt will have no negative financial impact on the City or customers’ bills, and can be accommodated within CPS Energy’s existing financial plan,” CPS Energy said in a news release.
What state lawmakers from San Antonio think caused Texas blackouts and how to prevent in future
As temperatures plunged and snow and ice whipped the state, much of Texas' power grid collapsed, followed by its water systems. Currently, the Texas power market operates as “energy-only,” which encourages scarcity because generators are paid only when they provide power. “I absolutely think that the decision to deregulate Texas’ power grid was a mistake. At the state level, Texas should have created some type of emergency fund or plan to prepare for a winter storm. “By deregulating Texas’ power grid from others in the U.S. state leaders left us vulnerable and literally in the dark.