San Antonio City Council Approves Ill-Advised CPS Energy Rate Hike
On Jan. 13, the San Antonio City Council voted to approve CPS Energy’s rate increase request of 3.85%. This rate hike, which is expected to generate $73 million in revenue, comes with no commitment to phase out the polluting Spruce coal plant and no new protections against severe weather events such as Winter Storm Uri. The city council’s decision will mean more expensive utility bills for thousands of CPS Energy customers in San Antonio and paves the way for another increase in just two years. The new rates will take effect March 1, 2022.
DeeDee Belmares, Public Citizen’s climate justice organizer in San Antonio, issued the following statement:
In voting for this rate increase, City Council failed the people of San Antonio by not forcing CPS Energy to commit to long overdue reform of its unfair rate system. City council also failed to get a commitment from the utility to plan for the retirement of the Spruce coal plant. While the rate increase is expected to generate revenue the utility insists it needs, the city council should have demanded that those who use the most energy – namely the largest commercial, residential and industrial users – pay for it. The council should have ensured that the utility was prepared for another extreme weather event like Winter Storm Uri and committed to phasing out coal before it saddled ratepayers with higher bills.