Tuesday, September 22, 2015

For-Profit El Paso Electric Company Is Bad for El Paso

You can see this sign in Bisbee, Arizona but not in El Paso, Texas
Besides the obvious that El Paso Electric Company is joining with utilities around the country, the Koch Boys and ALEC to crush the rooftop photovoltaic industry, why else will you not see the sign above in El Paso for the foreseeable future.

Bisbee, a town of between 5,000 and 6,000 souls, a once-thriving turquoise and copper mining town and the place today for a great blues festival, is also part of an electrical cooperative, the Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative. "Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative is a non-profit, member-owned distribution cooperative providing electricity to more than 51,000 services over some 4,100 miles of energized line. Located in southeastern Arizona, the cooperative’s service territory covers parts of Cochise, Graham, Pima and Santa Cruz Counties and includes the communities of Sierra Vista, Huachuca City, Patagonia, Elfrida, Benson, St. David, Bowie, San Simon, Willcox, Sonoita and Pearce-Sunsites."

SSVEC offers a member discount card that can be used at local stores and services. They have energy efficiency programs and programs for youth. They also have a renewable energy program which offers incentives to reward the use of solar energy. 

SSVEC is a non-profit co-op. EPEC is a for-profit organization. EPEC is there to benefit the shareholders not the ratepayers. Nothing wrong with that except that they use their power (pardon the pun) to quash innovation and protect their financial interests. EPEC does not serve the interests of El Paso and cannot as a for-profit corporation.

I believe that it was Ann Lilly who, a few years ago, actually proposed that El Paso have a municipal utility. Hmmm?

Tomorrow, we'll look at CPS Energy of San Antonio.

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1 comment:

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