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SOUTHWESTERN PUBLIC SERVICE SAYS PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION OF TEXAS TO REVIEW RATES

 SOUTHWESTERN PUBLIC SERVICE SAYS PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION
 OF TEXAS TO REVIEW RATES
 AMARILLO, Texas, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwestern Public Service Company (NYSE: SPS) said today that the Public Utility Commission of Texas has initiated a procedural filing to review the electric utility's rates.
 The review is based on the commission staff's semi-annual Earnings Monitoring Report that says SPS's revenues for 1991 appeared higher than necessary to earn an appropriate rate of return.
 SPS residential rates have declined 20 percent since 1983 and are currently among the lowest in the state for investor-owned utilities. The average of SPS's retail rates -- which include residential, commercial and industrial rates -- is 29.7 percent below the average of the retail rates of all other Texas electric utility companies.
 SPS strongly believes its earnings are reasonable, and are primarily the result of efficient and cost-effective operations, said Gerald Diller, SPS group manager of rates and regulation.
 The filing did not indicate a target amount of reduction. However, based on previously awarded returns on equity allowed other utilities in Texas, the company does not believe this filing will have a substantial financial impact.
 "We're proud of the competitive electric rates we have for our service area," Diller said, "and we anticipate a fair and equitable examination of our costs and revenues."
 In Texas, cities have original jurisdiction over rates. Rates can be adjusted by the PUCT for unincorporated areas. Each city would have the option to adopt similar adjustments for customers within its city limits.
 "We will be working with the cities we serve in Texas to keep them informed as we develop the rate case required by the commission review," Diller said.
 SPS is a regional electric utility that primarily provides electric service to a population of about one million people in a 52,000-square- mile area comprising eastern and southeastern New Mexico, the South Plains and Panhandle of Texas, the Oklahoma Panhandle and southwestern Kansas. The company serves 75 communities in Texas. Corporate headquarters is in Amarillo, Texas.
 Electric Utility Bill Survey -- September 1992
 Public Utility Commission of Texas
 All Texas Investor-owned utilities Bill for 1,000 KWH
 1. Southwestern Public Service (SPS) $ 65.19
 2. Southwestern Electric Power 75.73
 3. Texas Utilities 80.45
 4. Southwestern Electric Service 84.62
 5. West Texas Utilities 85.28
 6. Central Power & Light 86.65
 7. Gulf States Utilities 86.93
 8. Texas-New Mexico Power 92.52
 9. Houston-Lighting & Power 93.89
 10. El Paso Electric 106.23
 -0- 10/13/92
 /CONTACT: Phil Roth, public information supervisor of Southwestern Public Service Company, 806-378-2120/
 (SPS) CO: Southwestern Public Service Company ST: Texas IN: UTI SU:


PS -- NY065 -- 9405 10/13/92 14:22 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 13, 1992
Words:449
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