CPS hosts input session about proposed rate hike

September 9, 2013

Lauren Lea
News 4 San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO- Every time you flip the light switch, it could cost you a little extra in the future, if a 4.75 percent rate hike comes to pass. CPS Energy hosted a public input session Monday night and not everyone in the small crowd supported the increase.

"There’s an affordability question. A lot more homes need to be weatherized to bring down the bills. That’s a concern for many, many people," explained Karen Hadden. She’s with the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Coalition, which turned in a petition to the CPS Energy board, asking for more energy conservation and efficiency across the city, among other measures. The increase will cost, on average, $5.19 extra each month for a customer using 1,100 kWh. Some people have their own ideas on how to save that cash.

"I think some of the bonuses should be drastically reduced and that money should be used for whatever they say they need it for. I think some of the top management salary also needs to be reduced," said Greg Lizak.

CPS is proposing to reduce bonuses by about $4 million and put that money toward income assistance programs. The Trouble Shooters discovered last year CPS handed out a record $16 million in bonuses to employees. The utility plans to spend hundreds of millions modernizing the grid and upgrading infrastructure, like new power lines and poles.

"A big part of this is planning for the future and making sure we have adequate supply to meet the growing needs of San Antonio," explained CEO Doyle Beneby.

CPS says you’re paying less for your power than other cities in the state, and the utility will expand assistance programs if rate hike passes. The city council will have to approve the increase. It could go into effect in February.

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