EL PASO, Texas, July 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- El Paso Electric and intervening parties, including representatives of the solar industry, have agreed to terms as part of the overall settlement in the El Paso Electric rate case. The settlement terms will continue to allow El Paso homeowners the ability to install rooftop solar without receiving a rate penalty associated with that choice.
The settlement removes the proposal by El Paso Electric to impose separate higher rates on homeowners who install rooftop solar. Homeowners with solar will continue to be billed the same rate as all residential homeowners.
The rate case was filed in August of 2015, and since then, negotiations over the rate case have drawn attention by concerned elected officials representing the El Paso area, including State Senator José Rodríguez, who publicly opposed El Paso Electric's original proposal for residential solar customers on several occasions.
After the settlement was announced, Senator Rodríguez stated, "I'm glad to see that El Paso Electric and the various interveners in this rate case have reached settlement terms that benefit all ratepayers, including customers with solar installed on their homes. Gone now are proposals for steep surcharges and segregated rate classes for solar customers. El Paso and far West Texas should lead the nation in solar energy development. We should encourage this growth, which is good for the electric system, helps create jobs, and provides consumer options. I trust the Commission will authorize the settlement terms without delay."
Catherine Webking from the Energy Freedom Coalition of America (EFCA), recognized the benefits to the residents of El Paso stemming from this settlement: "As a result of the settlement, the electricity rates in El Paso remain consistent with the current legislation introduced by Senator Rodríguez. This allows parity of rates so that customers who choose solar for their home are charged the same rate as all other residential customers for the electricity they consume."
The settlement is also consistent with testimony filed by the City of El Paso that recommended rejection of the disparate rates proposed by El Paso Electric for customers who made the choice to install solar for their homes.
The settlement requires the approval of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, which could consider the settlement as early as August.
Energy Freedom Coalition of America is a national advocacy organization that seeks to promote public awareness of the benefits of solar and alternative energy through public advocacy.
SOURCE Energy Freedom Coalition of America