in Houston, Texas
CPS Energy discloses top salaries, promises openness
Tuesday, Sep 07, 2010, 10:17AM CST
By Steve Miller

City-owned utilities in Texas have historically denied public access to records, despite their very public nature. This stance is generally supported by the state Attorney General’s office. Witness most recently the trouble officials in Bryan had obtaining information for budgetary purposes.

power lines

In a refreshing blast, CPS Energy in San Antonio has disclosed its top salaries following a promise of openness.

The release of information came from an astute open records request from the San Antonio Express-News, which was holding recently named CPS chief Doyle Beneby to his pledge of transparency.


In the Express-News story, Beneby "said he made the decision 'with much difficulty,' noting that those employees whose salaries would be made public 'didn't sign on for that — they're not city employees.'"

However, he acknowledged that CPS' reputation has been damaged by perceptions of secrecy and emphasized his own commitment to increased transparency.

“Given what's happened in the past, at this point in time, this is a reasonable stance to take,” he said.

In the past, salary information has been protected by AG rulings that claim there are public records exceptions for competitive matters for quasi-public entities. These rulings are usually cite 552.133 of the government code.

Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or

Photo of power lines by flickr user Horia Varlan, used via a Creative Commons license.

Peggy Venable
Thursday, 09/09/2010 - 12:20PM

Electricity competition is working in Texas, and those of us who are captive customers to our city-owned utilities deserve consumer choice. The legislature should end the practice of protecting city-owned monopolies and open them to competition. Currently, the city needs to vote to allow competition, and I have not known of a single city to vote to do so. Cities can't have it both ways - claim they are subject to competition so they don't need to disclose salaries, while they are not subject to competition and have all residents as captive customers.

Thursday, 02/17/2011 - 06:31PM

OMG! Are you a retard? Just look at the cost of energy, CPS and Austin Energy both city owned utilities have some of the lowest cost of power in the state and nation. Maybe you should do some research before you open your mouth.

Wednesday, 08/31/2011 - 03:09PM

Tre. You are right on people need to do some more research on average utility bills across the nation. Cps does have the lowest in the nation. If you want another utility company to come in and say they will offer you a lower rate they will make you sign a contract for a certain number of months and after that your rate doubles. I had a place in rockport where our K.W. per hour was $0.27 an hour and where Cps is $0.09 cents an hour. Come on, wake up

Wednesday, 08/31/2011 - 10:01PM

thats correct, DO SOME RESEARCH! that hasnt worked anywhere in the nation, california, wyoming, texas(houston). CPS would still be liables for maintenance costs and upkeep of all equipment will others get to "rent" them. what company, any type, does that and stays afloat or keeps costs down. how would you like living here in S.A. and pay city taxes in Amarillo? but its ok for others to do that to CPS. C'mon "WAKE UP AMERICA!"

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