El Paso Electric customers could see decrease in bill this summer

El Paso Electric.

On Friday, El Paso Electric, along with the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the City of El Paso, filed to reduce existing fuel factors in Texas by approximately 29 percent.

If the proposal to lower the fuel factor is approved, some residents could save almost $5 per month on their electric bills. This would be an average decrease of about 5 percent. These changes would go into effect as early as May 2018.

“We do use fuel and combustion, and those prices of natural gas fluctuate. Right now, we’re seeing the market adjust, and we’re making reducing those savings to our customers,” El Paso Electric spokesman, Eddie Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez said that electricity prices generally tend to increase in the summer, especially with the hot temperatures in the Borderland.

“It’s a series of reductions that you’re currently seeing on your residential bill as we move forward into the summer. I want to stress that usually in the summer, energy use goes up because you turn on your air conditioners,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez also talked about how important it is for customers to be aware of how they use energy. He said the best thing customers can do to shrink their bills this summer is to use energy-efficient habits that keep the cool air in and the hot air out, such as closing windows and doors when the air conditioner is on.

The Texas fuel factor is designed to recover the cost of fuel used to generate electricity, which El Paso Electric supplies to customers. El Paso Electric is responsible for providing electricity to nearly 420,000 customers throughout a 10,000-mile radius in west Texas and southern New Mexico. It uses the fuel factor to show current costs and to accurately predict the cost of fuel in the future, for all of its customers. In October 2017, the fuel factor was reduced by 19 percent.

Currently, the typical El Paso Electric customer in Texas is getting a monthly discount on their bill of $3.83. Last month, customers received a credit on bills due to the corporate tax rate reduction. El Paso Electric is only allowed to recover its actual fuel expenses used to generate electricity, however, it does not make money from those costs.

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