By the end of this week you could have been paying more for electricity, but the city council postponed AEP Texas’ proposed rate hike last month.
Corpus Christi isn’t the only community challenging the increase. Several cities have also postponed adopting the new rates, while others flat out rejected them.
Mayor Joe McComb says the city wants to make sure any increases are fair before signing off on them.
“We just want to make sure the average guy on the street, for their household utilities, and everybody else, is fair and reasonable,” said McComb.
AEP says the rate increase covers the cost of Hurricane Harvey related repairs. But does the increase hit hardest in the areas hardest hit by Harvey?
The communities served by AEP Texas are separated into the North and Central Divisions. Under AEP’s proposal, the Central Division, including the Coastal Bend, would see increases averaging about $4.75 a month. Meanwhile the North Division, relatively untouched by the storm, would see decreases averaging $5.01 a month.
“AEP is a wonderful community partner, and I think that everyone saw that as a result of Harvey,” said McComb. “At the same time, everybody’s paying electric bills, and everybody’s trying to keep their bills as low as they can.”
Corpus Christi and other cities requested a review through the state Public Utilities Commission. That agency decides if the change stays as-is or gets adjusted. Meanwhile, city leaders hope for the best.
“There’s always that hope when you do a review that you find something that’s favorable, and if it’s rates, they go down,” said McComb.
The Public Utilities Commission has started its review on this case. There’s no timetable for a decision… But the city’s postponement was for 90 days.