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SAN ANTONIO (January 13, 2022) – Today, the San Antonio City Council approved CPS Energy's request for a 3.85 percent rate change. Councilwoman Melissa Cabello Havrda issued the following statement:
"My vote to support the rate change was made as a Councilmember, as a member of the Council's Municipal Utilities Committee, as a CPS ratepayer, and most importantly as a lifelong San Antonian.
This was a difficult decision from the start. Daily discussions with community members and businesspeople in District 6 provided ample opportunities for them to share their concerns and questions regarding the rate request.
What became clear is that there is a need for trust and transparency regarding CPS Energy. To that end, last week I requested a complete and detailed audit of CPS Energy's finances and management processes, with the intent of providing a platform to keep the municipally-owned utility accountable and to begin rebuilding the community's trust.
On Monday the CPS board of trustees acted on the request and directed Mr. Rudy Garza to issue an RFP within 30 days for an audit that will include management structure, corporate culture, overall compensation and operational efficiency.
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This is a strong, positive step in the right direction, and I want to thank the CPS Energy board of trustees as well as Rudy Garza and his leadership team for sending the right signal to the community. Yesterday the audit request received the support of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as well as from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees local 2021. It shows a wide base of support and a true community call for transparency and accountability.
The results of the audit should be brought not only to the council, but to multiple venues. The same way town halls were put together for the rate increase in every district. It needs to happen again with the results of the audits, to make the documents public.
This decision has also been a delicate balance: CPS Energy cannot ask more from its ratepayers without giving more in return. Leaders of the municipally owned utility have said that in 18 months they will present a plan to close two coal-powered generators; that the rate increase will provide infrastructure upgrades; that it'll pay for certain costs incurred during Winter Storm Uri; that they will work on a rate structure so that the most vulnerable citizens will not endure an unfair cost burden; that with this approach San Antonio will be better for it.
In the end, trust and accountability are the best path forward."
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