El Paso Electric, Xcel Could Recover Metering Costs Under Bills Ready for Governor

May 10, 2019


El Paso Electric and Xcel Energy’s Southwestern Public Service Company would be able to charge customers to recover the costs of advanced metering under bills that have now passed both the Texas House and Senate and will go to the governor for his signature.

The legislation was passed by the Senate through the local and uncontested calendar on Friday.

One bill specifically mentions EPE; another bill that passed on Friday specifically mentions Southwestern Public Service.

District 78 state Rep. Joe Moody‘s HB 853 notes that utilities that are under the ERCOT umbrella are able to recover the “reasonable and necessary costs” of installing meter information networks and advanced meters, there’s been some question as to whether those outside ERCOT but still in Texas, such as EPE, can legally do so.

Under the bills, they can legally do so, but under Public Utility Commission rules and guidance.

The Senate also passed District 87 Rep. Four Price‘s HB 986 which is almost identical but lists Excel.

The legislation would also require that electric utilities outside ERCOT but in Texas roll out such metering as “rapidly as practicable to allow customers to better manage energy use and control costs,” according to the bill analysis.