Where the Sun Don’t Shine

According to this story in the El Paso Times, the El Paso Electric Company (EPEC) may soon engage in rolling brownouts.

El Paso Electric CEO Mary Kipp said in a statement that the utility does not intend to interrupt services to customers.

“However, in the event we were to lose a generating unit or transmission line during system peak, we may need to conduct managed outages in order to maintain the stability of our local electric grid,” she said.

A managed outage would occur in pockets throughout the utility’s service system in areas that are deemed less critical, but “currently, there’s no interruption of service,” a utility spokesman said. “We want to be proactive and make sure we have resources available.”

Ms. Kipp added that if more customers had rooftop solar panels, the prime time load on generating units would be less. “El Paso Electric should do everything possible to encourage the use of rooftop solar panels. For that reason, EPEC is rescinding the onerous $15 a month charge for consumers with solar panels which your City Council approved as part of our recent rate increase. I am immediately demoting the entire Rate Department. We’re sending them out to read meters, as early as this afternoon.”

She didn’t really say that last part. But somewhere, in the darkest recesses of her coal-black soul, you know she was thinking it.


  1. Not only good news, but a touch of humor as well! I really like that last part, because even though I can’t afford solar, I think that their greed in attempting to penalize those who install it was really out of touch with the real world.

    1. Because the installation costs are still too high, and the return on investment is just not there. For one thing, up until now, EPEC has not been at all encouraging to anyone wanting to go this route. For another, storage of electricity is still expensive and not that practical. Maybe if EPEC really gets behind this idea, that will encourage more people to try it.

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