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San Antonio City Staff Recommend 4.25% CPS Energy Rate Increase

CPS Energy
CPS Energy cut its rate increase proposal from 4.75 percent to 4.25 percent. The city council is expected to vote on the issue Nov. 7.

San Antonio city staffers have recommended the CPS Energy rate increase of 4.25 percent, which would add $4.68 to the average customer's bill.

The city's chief financial officer told the city council that CPS Energy leaders have worked hard to make their rate request as low as possible.

Ben Gorzell said the city worked closely with the utility and found the budget process this time around had improved significantly over 2010. Gorzell made four recommendations to the utility.

One is to continue addressing customer service issues in billing and call center departments. Another is to work with the city to study CPS Energy pensions and benefits plans and associated costs.

Gorzell said typically CPS Energy and the city are in different places until enough back and forth is done to arrive at an increase everyone agrees with. In this case, he said the company cut its bonus program, delayed some capital projects, and increased its low-income assistance program to help people pay their bills to reduce the increase proposal from 4.75 percent to 4.25 percent.

A final vote from city council is expected on Nov. 7.