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FELPS, CPS new contract takes effect January 2016
FLORESVILLE -- The roller coaster of fluctuations in the Floresville Electric Light & Power System’s (FELPS) cost of purchasing wholesale electricity from San Antonio-based CPS Energy could end, under a new five-year contract approved Nov. 28 by FELPS’ board of trustees.
FELPS General Manager Kyle Dicke said that the agreement becomes effective Jan. 1, 2016, and will run for five years. It will mean that the system will continue a partnership with CPS that has been ongoing since FELPS was formed in 1942.
While Dicke could not comment on specific aspects of the agreement because it is considered a competitive matter, he said that one difference from the current contract that expires Dec. 31, 2015, is “a more levelized pricing.”
Because FELPS lacks its own electricity generating capacity, it purchases power from CPS at wholesale prices. Weather and other conditions can cause this pricing to fluctuate from month to month. This cost is reflected on electrical bills in the form of a credit or a charge. For instance, October’s bills reflected a $24.80 per 1,000 kilowatt-hour charge -- attributed to triple-digit August temperatures -- while the November bills will indicate a $2.59 per 1,000 kilowatt-hour credit.
The level pricing structure, Dicke said, will rely on forecasts and historical data to determine the price FELPS pays for the entire year. If the forecast is too low, the price will increase in the following year. But if FELPS overpays, prices will decrease the next year. This determination will be made each October.
“We will pay the same to CPS Energy in the mild months, as we do in the hot and cold months,” Dicke said.
Also during the meeting, the board voted not to renew FELPS’ employee medical insurance policy with Humana. Dicke said if the board decided to renew the policy, its price would have increased 49.5 percent. The board instead decided to insure the system’s employees with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, for which a comparable policy will mean an increase of just 14 percent.
Dental insurance, which is an elective policy that less than a quarter of FELPS’ employees opt to accept, also will change. The board voted to change carriers from Fort Dearborn to Guardian, at a savings of approximately 2.7 percent.
In other business, the agreement that would authorize the sale of the felpsis.net Internet system to the Guadalupe Valley Electrical Cooperative (GVEC) is being finalized. Dicke said attorneys for both FELPS and GVEC are reviewing the agreement and that current customers soon will receive letters notifying them of the sale.
GVEC already has purchased some of the felpsis.net hardware, and will purchase the Internet system on a per-customer basis. Dicke said a portion of the sale price will be paid upfront, with the remainder due 90 days after the transaction closes. The final price, he said, will depend on how many of the customers stay after the sale is completed.
Meanwhile, FELPS stopped accepting new Internet customers effective Oct. 31.
***In attendance: FELPS General Manager Kyle Dicke, Assistant General Manager David McMillan, Manager of Financial Services Marcy Jacobs, and board members Ronnie Bohmann, Vernon Lambeck, Larry Stavinoha, Ignacio Vasquez, Marlin Tanneberger, Pat Pollock, and Floresville Mayor Diana Garza; and Floresville City Manager Andy Joslin.
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