Xcel Energy has offered their customers budget billing for years, and now Lubbock Power and Light will be offering the same service.
Budget billing gives customers the opportunity to have a set electricity bill year round, instead of paying higher bills in the peak winter and summer months.
"Basically we look at the last 12 months of a customers bill and come up with an average. That average is put into a system and it bills that customer each month and at the end of the year the customer and the company settle up." says Curtis Corder, a Sales Account Executive for Xcel Energy.
Maybe the customer has paid too much for their usage and earned credit, or they could owe a little bit more. In November LP&L will be offering budget billing to their customers as well, with only a few stipulations.
"Number one you have to have 12 months history in order to calculate a true budget. Number two they have to pay their bill each month, that's critically important. And number three when they sign up they have to be bill current," says Rick Smith, LP&L Customer Service Supervisor.
Both Xcel and LP&L offer budget billing to help customers plan ahead. That way if we have a bitter cold winter or a scorching hot summer, your bills won't skyrocket.
As for this winter, both companies will be using more coal than natural gas to keep prices low. According to LP&L, last year natural gas cost about $5.42 in the winter months and this year they are projecting a slight increase of $5.46.