I commend Mayor Robertson and his fellow Council members for taking a stand and passing on a rate increase for LP&L.
But last Wednesday's decision didn't come without a disclaimer that a rate increase may be inevitable. They say they are losing money because LP&L is buying electricity for more than it is selling it to customers.
Well I say, that's not the point.
LP&L has been very successful in recent years and as a result, profits rose and reserves became stable. Well now that electricity is more expensive, LP& L has had to use those funds to operate in order to keep rates low.
I say that is the way to continue. LP&L is now a monopoly, so it is more important than ever that any profits be returned to rate payers. The books should be balanced with either lower rates, the same rates, or rebates based on the energy climate at the time.
Right now, I'd say keep spending the profits to keep rates the same. Only when our profit balance is zero should we consider raising rates. I suppose a case could be made to use profits to also pay off debt, but raising rates should be taken very seriously and be a last resort.
Last week's decision is a great start for this council. Hopefully it is the first of many decisions that are based on what benefits the customers and voters that gave them the job.
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