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Residents of El Paso, Texas, are saying they are seeing climbing electricity rates despite lower energy prices, especially natural gas, which is down 43 percent compared with a year ago, the Las Cruces Sun-News reports.
"My electric bill was the highest ever and that was while we were keeping our thermostat at 77 all day," Las Cruces resident Kevin Wilson told the news source. "While El Paso Electric is paying less for fuel than ever they are charging more than ever."
However, the utility asserts it has not changed its base rates since January 2010. It did say though that costs can vary depending on the price of fuel. To explain, David Carpenter, CFO at El Paso Electric, compared a standard residential electricity bill for June 2012 with one from June 2011, and showed that – based on the average usage in June of 750 kilowatt hours – the bill dropped from $98.39 in 2011 to $89.79 in 2012.
"As fuel prices decrease, the lower costs are passed through to the customers through the FPPCAC, lowering their bills," he said.
Texans recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of energy deregulation in the state, marking a time in which several retail energy providers have entered the competitive market.