San Antonio, Texas officials will consider a proposal to use $50 million in city-owned utility revenue to offer customer discounts.
Energy bills have skyrocketed for Texans in recent months as record heat has forced them to use more electricity. As a result, the city’s revenue from CPS Energy is expected to be $75 million higher than forecast, City Manager Erik Walsh told reporters on Wednesday. The city receives 13% of public service revenues.
Walsh proposes to use about $50 million of that amount to provide relief to residential and commercial customers living in and out of town, according to Texas Public Radio.
He said he would present the proposal to city council members at a meeting on Thursday.
About $45 million would be used to provide credits on a future energy bill, according to Walsh’s plan. The remainder would be used for CPS Energy’s residential energy assistance program for low-income customers.
The credit would be based on the customer’s July invoice, with the proposal suggesting that the reduced credit of future credit should be around 13.3% of what he paid in July.
Walsh said the average bill for residential customers rose to $230 in July, meaning they could expect a discount of around $31.
“It’s not going to clear anyone’s outstanding balances, it’s not going to pay anyone’s full utility bill,” Walsh said, according to Texas Public Radio.
“It’s the city as the owner of CPS recognizing the extraordinary position everyone is in and doing their part.”
But District 1 Councilman Mario Bravo opposes the plan, suggesting the city use the money for projects that could lower energy bills in the long run.
He will propose that the city spend $20 million on weatherization and energy-efficiency upgrades for older, drafty homes that use more electricity than newer homes, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
Bravo also wants the city to spend $20 million to reduce the “urban heat island effect” and plant trees and $10 million to create community “resilience centers” for residents seeking cooling. or heating.
The record-breaking heat this summer “is the only reason we have this extra revenue,” Bravo told the newspaper.
“We know we’re going to have more (intense summers), so why not take that resulting money and invest it in a way that protects taxpayers and CPS residents in the future?”
Newsweek has reached out to Walsh, Bravo and CPS Energy for comment.