1) Problem: CPS CEO was paid almost $1 MILLION in 2019, approved by CPS Board. The Manager of the LA Dept of Water & Power, the largest municipal system in the country, makes half this to manage BOTH WATER AND ELECTRICITY (SAWS CEO makes $500k).
Solution: CPS Manager salary will be set by City of San Antonio (“City”) Council. (Par. 2)
2) Problem: CPS did not participate in any discussion of early shut down of Spruce Coal Plants during City’s Climate Action & Adaptation Plan (CAAP) development. CPS CEO sent letter to City objecting to numerous parts of first draft CAAP, which resulted in removal of numerous specifics from the CAAP, largely gutting two years of citizen volunteer consensus building. CPS still refuses to detail options for shutting down Spruce (our biggest polluter).
Solution: Charter change will require shut down of Spruce Coal Plants by 2030. (Par. 5A)
3) Problem: CPS functions like a private business, believing that as long is it provides agreed funding to City, all other operational and policy matters are solely the purview of CPS Board. CPS has resisted citizen and Council input for many years.
Solution: CPS will become a City Department, required to follow City Management and policies set by City Council. (Par. 1, 2, 3)
4) Problem: CPS rates are inequitable and unfair to residential customers. CPS rate setting process is opaque, with no public input, and largely rubber stamp City Council oversight.
Solution: A new Advisory Commission will be established to provide a transparent, open process for rate setting with robust citizen input opportunities. (Par. 4)
5) Problem: CPS Board members are chosen by CPS Board members, with no need for any energy or utility, engineering, environmental or social justice background at all. This structure was set up specifically to insulate the public utilities from the influence of ethnic/working class demands for services in their neighborhoods. The governance structure of CPS is a vestige of structural racism/exclusion in local government and is not helpful to our community.
Solution: CPS Board will be replaced by City Council and Mayor. An Advisory Commission with citizens from all parts of SA will be set up to provide technical and policy input on the full range of issues confronting the City owned and operated Energy utility department. Non-City of SA customer representation will also be provided (Par. 1, 4)
6) Problem: CPS Private Business model depends on selling more energy to make more money. Energy conservation is a side line for publicity purposes rather than a core goal.
Solution: Charter will require CPS to fully incorporate efficiency goals and progressive rate structures that will support much more ambitious efficiency and conservation goals. Weatherization and other programs to maximize energy efficiency will be greatly expanded. (Par. 5B, 5C)
7) Problem: CPS provides a large portion of City revenues, which causes City Council reluctance to “rock the boat” for fear of losing revenue.
Solution: Nothing in this Charter Amendment is anticipated to alter revenues for City or CPS. (Par. 6).