El Paso Electric filed a proposal on Monday asking Texas regulators to approve an 8.7 percent increase for customers in Texas. EPE says they need to recoup more than $42 million they put into building the Montana Power station and other upgrades.

If approved, your bill could go up on average by almost 10 dollars in the summer and 8 dollars in the winter. Rates are anticipated to be implemented in late 2017 or early 2018. Solar users will also face changes. EPE wants to create a separate class for 1,800 solar customers and then increase their monthly bill by 14 dollars per month.

This is the second time in three years that El Paso Electric has tried increasing rates for customers in Texas and New Mexico. According to officials with El Paso Electric, the rate case process can take anywhere from six months to one year.

The good news is that Norman Gordon, who is the outside counsel for the City of El Paso and argues rate cases for taxpayers, is not happy about this latest rate request. Gordon said:

“The City has just been notified of the rate increase request and has begun to study the proposal. I am concerned EPEC is seeking $42.5 million on top of the increase that was settled last year, and I am asking our team to carefully scrutinize the amount of the increase to the residential and commercial customers, especially the increases in the proposed customer charges from $6.93 to $10.90. Once the evaluation is complete, we will direct the appropriate action.”

I hope he can show that these never-ending rate hike requests are nonsense. If you do renovations on your home, you are expected to pay for them. EPE is a for-profit, publically traded corporation that answers to stockholders. It would be interesting to find out if those stockholders are customers of EPE or if they are just making money off their stocks at our expense.

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