As of this week, San Benito has joined other cities together with a law firm to negotiate with AEP to make sure customers don’t end up paying more for electricity.
Commissioners in the resaca city joined other cities like Harlingen, McAllen and Weslaco to negotiate a possible rate increase.
“I had AEP offer service to my home, but I turned them down because of their rates,” said Tomás Núñez, a San Benito resident.
He said he gets his service from CPL instead.
Unfortunately for Núñez, no matter who he pays for electricity, customers of retail electric providers like CPL will be affected if AEP’s rates change.
Harlingen, McAllen, San Benito and Weslaco have all requested AEP suspend their requested rate change from June 5.
In a statement, San Benito’s spokesperson said the recently passed resolution by city commissioners, “delays, or suspends the rate change so cities along with attorneys […] can evaluate the proposed rate increase […] to negotiate a more favorable rate.”
The cities all have hired Lloyd Gosselink Attorneys to appeal for reasonable rates.
Multiple calls and emails to AEP were not returned, but in a recent press release from May 1, AEP states that it requested the Public Utility Commission of Texas to adjust rates charged by retail electric providers.
AEP is looking for a nearly $40 million increase in base rate revenues along with reducing AEP Texas’ transmission costs to nearly $3 million.
AEP argues they would like to reduce rates for north Texas customers to $5.01 a month and increase the rate for south Texas to around $4.75 a month.
The utility company argues that through October 2020, residential customers will ultimately see a decrease in charges.
According to Harlingen’s spokesperson, the rate negotiation is routine. In previous negotiations, proposed rate increases from AEP were actually lowered.