By Dan Jackson - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - I would like to commend those members of the Lubbock Power & Light board and the Lubbock City Council who voted not to raise electric rates come April 1st.
Proponents of the rate hike would say since LP&L will be paying more to buy the energy, then they should pass that increase on to the customers. They would also argue that a rate hike now will be easier on customers than a sudden spike in the summer months when usage is higher.
Passing increases right on to customers is the predictable and classic move for any electric company. But that's what I like about LP&L's leadership right now. They are not predictable, and they do what benefits their customers first.
In this case, they might have to use a portion of their reserves to cover the increased costs instead of pushing it off on the rate payers. What a novel idea. I realize they may not cover every increase going forward, but it makes sense when they have the money to do it.
And the argument that a gradual increase is better than a sudden one makes no sense at all. That's like saying it's a good idea to pay interest on a debt you don't owe yet. I bet if you give the rate payers a choice, they'd rather keep their money.
You have a board that took a public utility facing bankruptcy, and in just a few years turned it around. It strengthened the credit rating, is paying the city more than a standard franchise fee, has filled reserves, and is handing out millions in rebates. I don't know about you, but I pretty much trust their judgment based on that record. And thank goodness the majority of council agreed with them this time.
I've said all along that Lubbock Power & Light is owned by the citizens and exists for two reasons: to keep the lights on and the rates low. They are finally starting to do that and I say…more power to 'em!
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