CPS Energy To Make Case For 4.75 Percent Rate Increase

Sep 13, 2013

Nearly one week after the city council adopted its 2014 budget, members will begin hearing from leaders at CPS Energy about a possible rate hike.

CPS last raised rates in 2010 and passed up an opportunity to raise rates last year because the utility said it found efficiencies within the organization and delayed certain infrastructure projects.

This time, CPS Energy will ask for a 4.75 percent rate increase, which would equal a $5.19 hike to the average CPS Energy bill.

In a presentation this summer to its board, CPS Energy leaders said the customer base is growing, but not fast enough to keep up with the cost of expansion or to cover the expense of upgrading equipment.

CEO Doyle Beneby said in a letter to the community that because of the growth, the utility needs to keep up.

"No one likes to think about paying more for a service they cannot live without," said Beneby. "But a modest increase is needed to maintain the strong reliability and service our customers deserve."

CPS said it will expand its Affordable Discount program, helping qualified customers reduce their monthly bills by $12.30, more than double the expected rate increase.

The council will hear a presentation by CPS Energy at Wednesday's B session and will be the first in a series of meetings. The council is expected to vote on the rate increase Nov. 7.