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El Paso Electric Files to Decrease Texas Customers' Bills

April 01, 2009

Due to the drop in natural gas prices over recent months, El Paso Electric, on April 1, filed a request with the Public Utility Commission of Texas to terminate a fuel surcharge to Texas customers. In its filing, EPE is asking for the surcharge to be terminated effective with May 2009 bills.

Currently, there are two surcharges in customer bills. The first fuel surcharge, which will expire at the end of April, is to recover under-recovered fuel costs for the period of December 2005 through November 2007. El Paso Electric is asking to terminate the second surcharge, which began in October 2008 and would have continued through March 2010. If the PUCT approves the termination of the second surcharge, effective in May 2009, the average residential customer will see a total decrease of $4.16, or 6.2%, in their monthly electric bill, resulting from the termination of both surcharges.

Under Texas law, fuel costs are adjusted periodically to assure that utilities collect only their actual fuel costs. Over-collection of fuel costs results in a credit (refund) to customers, while under-collection of fuel costs results in customers being charged a surcharge to compensate for the under-recovery.

“We’re asking the Commission to approve our request as soon as possible so our customers will be able to benefit from the reduction during the upcoming summer months when electric usage tends to increase,” said David Stevens, El Paso Electric Chief Executive Officer.

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