City to cut electric bill in half

HARLINGEN — After six months of negotiations, the city will slash its electric bill in half.

Lower oil prices will help the city save more than $1 million on electricity that powers city offices, WaterWorks and Valley International Airport.

The Texas Coalition for Affordable Power, which represents 171 Texas cities, negotiated with three electric companies to set lower rates that go into effect January 2018, Assistant City Manager Gabriel Gonzalez said yesterday.

Gonzalez said the new rates will remain in effect for five years.

“We were able to negotiate lower rates,” Gonzales said.

He said the negotiations yielded the biggest savings he can remember.

“A million dollars — that’s substantial,” he said.

Last year, Gonzalez said, the city spent $2.1 million on 28.4 million kilowatt hours of electricity that powered the city’s public buildings.

But next year, the city’s electric bill will drop to about $1.1 million, Gonzalez said.

He said the city will save $392,613, WaterWorks will save $499,732 while the airport will save $151,596.

City Commissioner Michael Mezmar told Gonzalez in a City Commission meeting last week that is sounds like a good deal.