UPDATE: This story has been updated with a statement from the Brownsville Public Utilities Board in response to Mayra Flores’ letter.

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — U.S. Congresswoman Mayra Flores (TX-34) publicly addressed the Brownsville Public Utilities Board’s new utility rates in a letter sent earlier today.

In the letter, sent to BPUB, Flores addressed her concerns with the recent increase in utility costs for Brownsville residents and business owners.

The congresswoman said she had been contacted by “hundreds of constituents concerning their skyrocketing monthly utility bills and consensus on lack of justification for these changes.”

In May, the Brownsville City Commission approved a rollback and adjustment to the electric base rates for the utility’s customers.

According to agenda documents from the May meeting, BPUB reported it would no longer subsidize the fuel cost, causing a direct increase in customer bills.

During the item’s first hearing to the commission, the average monthly bill for residential customers was projected to be $113.03 for 2022 and $113.52 in 2023, according to the agenda packet.

At the time, the presentation from BPUB left one Brownsville City Commissioner on the verge of tears from her frustration on the matter.

Flores stated in the letter that she sympathizes with her constituents of Brownsville and does not believe that “these rate changes were adequately communicated or justified to Brownsville residents.”

She writes that her office has contacted BPUB on three occasions and has not received a direct response on the justification for the increases.

“Our Brownsville neighbors and small businesses work incredibly hard daily to keep their lights on and deserve transparency and communication on their utility cost,” the letter states.

Flores closed with a call on BPUB to further develop its public awareness campaign.

Cleiri Quezada, Senior Communications and Public Relations Coordinator for the Brownsville Public Utilities Board, told valleyCentral BPUB spoke to a representative from Mayra Flores’ office and guided them to where the information could be found on the its website.

“At BPUB, we regularly share information on rates and energy costs through our website, social media channels and community outreach efforts,” a statement in response to Flores’ letter from BPUB stated. “We are happy to work with Representative Flores to help Brownsville residents better understand and manage their energy costs.”