Schools May Pay More for Electricity in El Paso

elpasoEl Paso Electric is trying to eliminate a discounted rate under which schools, city and county facilities benefit.

If the move is approved by the Public Utility Commission of Texas, entities in Rate 41 would move to regular commercial rates, according to the El Paso Times. That would result in rate increases of 12 percent to 20 percent, according to the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD). The increase could reach $1.8 million, which is the equivalent to 40 beginner teachers’ salaries. The EPISD budgets $8.8 million for electricity.

The move is part of El Paso Electric’s effort to raise $71.5 million for infrastructure improvements. Other customers also are facing rate hikes. The school districts, the city and the public can challenge the move — and such resistance is expected.

Rate hike requests are common. The need to weatherproof the grid in northern Bergen and Passaic counties in New Jersey is leading Rockland Electric Company to seek an additional $61 million in funding, according to The Record. The plan is scheduled for public review this week in Mahwah. The utility wants to raise rates 2.7 percent in 22 communities for five years.

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