Experienced CEO Guides Texas and New Mexico Regulated Utility as it Returns from Bankruptcy, Buys Back Stock, Starts Paying Out Dividends: A Wall Street Transcript Interview with Thomas Shockley, Chief Executive Officer of El Paso Electric (EE)

Wall Street Transcript

67 WALL STREET, New York - February 19, 2014 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published its Alternative Energy & Utilities Report offering a timely review of the sector to serious investors and industry executives. This special feature contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with public company CEOs, Equity Analysts and Money Managers. The full issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

Topics covered: Outlook for Biofuels and Biochemicals - Asia Pacific Demand for Solar Energy - Grid Parity Timelines for Alternative Energy - Solar Energy Pricing - Government Subsidies and Regulation - Solar Growth Drivers and Headwinds - Regulatory Headwinds for U.S. Utilities

Companies include: El Paso Electric Co. (EE) and many others.

In the following excerpt from the Alternative Energy & Utilities Report, the CEO of El Paso Electric discusses the outlook for his company for investors:

TWST: Can you begin with a brief introduction to El Paso Electric, including some highlights from the company's history and an overview of your current operations?

Mr. Shockley: El Paso Electric has a very long history. We are over 110 years old. We were in a unique situation because of our nuclear generation that we were building in the middle of the 1990s, but we came out of bankruptcy and now trading on the New York Stock Exchange for over 10 years.

We are small by most standards. We are what I would characterize as a traditional, vertically integrated utility. We have generation that we own, and we have transmission and distribution lines to distribute our electricity to our customers. And so we have a service area where we have an obligation to serve our customers; and in exchange, we are the only retail electric provider that can serve customers in our area, and so we have our rates and obligations set by our regulators. We have regulators in New Mexico and in Texas as well.

TWST: How would you describe the regulatory and rate environment for the business at this point? What obstacles and opportunities are on the horizon?

Mr. Shockley: We have two different situations. We have some of our customers that are regulated by the New Mexico Public Utility Commission. In New Mexico, the legislature has enacted laws that have been very progressive at promoting and supporting renewables. In our service area, the most viable renewable is solar. So we've got quite a bit of solar generation in New Mexico and that is regulated by the state of New Mexico. We have about 25% of our revenues and customers in New Mexico and the rest primarily in El Paso, Texas, but we serve other very small towns in the El Paso area.

In Texas, the City Council of El Paso has what is called original jurisdiction. And so when we need to have our rates reviewed, or we need an increase, we have to file with the City of El Paso, and it's the city council that actually hears debates and takes its recommendations from the attorneys that are representing the city. If there is a disagreement or at the same time working with the state PUC, the Public Utility Commission of Texas, we can implement rates in all of our jurisdictions in Texas at the same time.

TWST: How are your operating costs trending, and what efforts do you have in place to control those costs?

For more of this interview and many others visit the Wall Street Transcript - a unique service for investors and industry researchers - providing fresh commentary and insight through verbatim interviews with CEOs, portfolio managers and research analysts. This special issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

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