At the meeting held August 26, 2020, the Board of Trustees approved new Rate Tariffs. The approved changes did not include a rate increase, but rather a rate restructure. A Cost of Service Study, which is used in the electric industry as a standard process for allocating utility revenue to the utility’s rate classes based on the costs associated with serving each rate class, was conducted. The results were similar to previous studies. The goals were to increase the Customer Charge and Demand Charge, while maintaining current rate revenue. In order to facilitate the changes, without increasing revenue, the energy charges decreased. Below is an example of the change:
FELPS Office Closure
In order to best protect the health and well-being of customers and employees, FELPS has closed its offices to the general public, effective March 20, 2020 and has paused nonessential business operations until further notice.
The goal during this uncertain time is to make sure the electric services that FELPS provides can continue uninterrupted. In order to do this, we must do what we can to make sure our employees remain healthy.
FELPS has made this decision, which is in line with guidance from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; however, it will not affect the essential services FELPS provides to its customers, the reliable delivery of power. FELPS is making this decision out of caution for the public and our employees. We have a team that will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic in order to make the best decisions possible as we move forward.
FELPS is encouraging customers to call Customer Service at 830-216-7000, sub-option 1 to pay their bill, set up payment arrangements or conduct other business. Customers can also pay their electric bill via our website, www.felps.us, or by mail. There is also a drop box located in the vestibule of the front office, to place payments. FELPS encourages customers to continue to make their payments or call Customer Service to make arrangements.
For FELPS’ nonessential employees to the delivery of electric power, we have instituted mandatory telecommuting until further notice. Employees that work in critical operations will continue to perform their duties while practicing social distancing and other strategies for reducing the spread of COVID-19.
Following are the recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as effective ways to mitigating exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
- Stay home when you or someone in household is sick
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve
- Wash your hand often with soap and water
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects
- Follow social distancing protocols and avoid people who are sick
- Stay home if fever is 99.6 or above
Consider Power Lines When Planting Trees
Now is a good time to plant trees so they have growing time before the heat stresses of summer begin. Trees can cut electric bills after they have had a chance to grow and also increase the value of your property and enhance its appearance.
The keys to selecting and planting trees should include both placement and the mature size of the trees. When placing trees, consider the areas you wish to shade and be certain the trees will not come in contact with power lines as they grow.
Smaller trees, such as cedar elms are a good choice for limited space and locations where they may grow close to power lines. Flowering trees, such as crape myrtle and mountain laurel, add color and also represent good choices for areas where shorter trees are required.
On the other hand, oaks and pecans grow well in South Texas but can reach 30-40 feet tall. They are poor choices for small lawns and areas close to power lines.
Consider some advantages of planting trees:
- Trees on the east and west sides of your home can block the sun, keeping the walls and roof cooler.
- Trees cool the ground near them, with the result that less heat reaches the walls of your home.
- Trees near streets can reduce the pavement temperature by as much as 10 degrees compared with neighborhoods that don’t have trees.
- Trees reduce the amount of lawn watering required and clean the air by taking in carbon dioxide.
Floresville Electric Light & Power System (FELPS) has a responsibility to the customers, this responsibility is to deliver safe and reliable energy to our customers. For FELPS to deliver safe and reliable energy it requires proper tree trimming and vegetation management. Tree limbs and vegetation can cause widespread outages, hazardous conditions (electric shock) and fires.
The National Electric Safety Code (NESC) requires that vegetation does not interfere with workers maintaining, upgrading or repairing a line. NESC requires removal of any trees or other vegetation that is a hazard to the power system or that could become a hazard to the system. This is also a tree trimming or vegetation management program is in place at FELPS.
Unpruned trees could cause serious injuries or fatalities to anyone who climbs trees too close to electric power lines, electrical shock and injury to anyone close to a tree that is energized and increases the chance of a fire from arcing electricity.
There are numerous examples of what happens when proper tree trimming, and vegetation management does not happen as part of our responsibility to the communities we serve. The California fires this past year are being blamed on electric wires the Bastrop fire was blamed on electric wires, and FELPS is doing its best to mitigate the potential of any hazard with our electric system. FELPS is attempting to enhance public safety awareness to minimize tree/wire issues to reduce the fire risk.
FELPS is currently using two vegetation contractors, who have arborists on staff and FELPS also has an arborist working full-time. The vegetation contractors are following the vegetation management standards which FELPS adopted. , and follow the guidelines set forth in ANSI A300.
Now is a good time to have trees trimmed to avoid power interruptions caused by contact with electric lines. Call FELPS at 830-216-7000, sub-option 5, to have trees trimmed. They will be trimmed to provide seven feet of clearance for service lines and ten feet of clearance for high voltage power lines.
The Terms and Conditions were approved by the Board and effective on October 1, 2019. The changes include increases in fees for connection, reconnection, disconnects for non-pay, and various other services. The Terms and Conditions change will not affect the rates on the monthly bill. These biggest change is a fee for Same Day Service. Having efficient, cost-effective planning for the field technicians is a high priority for FELPS and requests from customers to perform same day services doesn’t allow for those efficiencies. As such, FELPS will only perform same day services for an additional fee. Please see the Terms and Conditions tab in About Us for full details. The document below is an overview of the approved changes.