Greedy Kilowatt

I’m not in favor of selling El Paso Electric to J.P. Morgan. I’ve seen enough movies to know that you’re not supposed to invite the vampire into your house.

But let’s not act like El Paso Electric is a friend of El Paso. El Paso Electric and the El Paso City Council have colluded to give El Pasoans the highest electric rates in the state.

Industry absolutely looks at utility rates when they decide where to relocate. The highest property tax rates in the country and the highest electric rates in the state are a losing combination.

For most cities, rooftop solar is a solution to the problem of predatory electric rates. But El Paso Electric’s rate structure penalizes customers with rooftop solar by charging a monthly minimum for customers with photovoltaic panels on their homes, and separate metering for electricity coming in and leaving the house. El Paso Electric pays much less to buy electricity generated from rooftop solar than they charge rooftop solar customers for electricity off the grid.

Of course, we can blame the Electric Company, but sticking it to the ratepayers to benefit the shareholders is EPEC’s job.

The real fault lies with our spineless, brainless, feckless City Council, who will do anything in exchange for a mojito and a shrimp cocktail. City Council is supposed to represent the El Paso ratepayers when El Paso Electric asks for a rate increase, but City Council can’t get their nose out of the trough.

City Council is not that bright, and they lack motivation to serve the community.

So run. Run in November. If your representative is coming up for re-election, run.

It’s a thankless job, but it pays $42,000 a year and you might get to ride in the Thanksgiving Parade.

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