El Paso Electric anticipates to spend $1.3 billion over the next 5 years
El Paso Electric is currently anticipating a $1.3 billion investment for the next five years to meet the city's growing demands.
El Paso Electric spokesperson Eddie Gutierrez says El Paso is growing at a rate that will require people to pay more on their utility bill.
"If the city grows, the economics of our community expands on a larger scale. The utility meets that obligation and grows with the community," said Gutierrez.
As of right now, El Paso Electric does not know how much the company will charge customers in the future.
A rate hike worth $14 million was approved in December.
But Gutierrez says El Paso's demand for electricity will require more money to build accordingly.
"Streetcars or even new developments or new projects or exciting new entertainment venues like Topgolf. A lot of things behind the scenes that our crews do is prepared to meet that obligation that they have the power necessary to run their businesses or projects," said Gutierrez.
According to El Paso Electric, the number of customers has increased 1.6% since last year. That's double the national average which is 0.86%.
Some El Pasoans say they are OK with the bill increase as long as it's at a reasonable rate.
"As long as the charges are minimal and not too high, too quick, I think everyone can adjust," said Christina Gandara, who is from Central El Paso.
Many say El Paso Electric should find more efficient ways to provide electricity.
"I’d like to see the El Paso Electric company maybe utilize more solar energy,” said Jose Gurany who is from East El Paso.
Others say it's up to us to also help conserve electricity.
"It just causes you to be more aware of the electricity that you are using," said Barb Gurany who is from East El Paso.
El Paso Electric says it will need regulatory approval in Texas and New Mexico to proceed with expansion over the next five years.