The electric utility board has recommended a 9.7% LP&L rate increase that could go into effect as early as June 1, 2013.
The recommendation came after an outside rate study by J Stowe & CO which the council originally asked LP&L to do. It means people will pay an extra $7-10 dollars per month on their bill.
"The reason we need the increase is last year we lost $3.2 million dollars and through six months this year we are at negative $7.6 million dollars," said Gail Kring, President of PYCO Industries and the Electric Utility Board Chairman.
"In 2019 we either have to reach out there and build a power plant, purchase power from someone or find some other way to get power to the citizens of Lubbock," Kring said.
Kring says LP&L is hoping to raise $18 million dollars in a year to bring their financial situation back into positive territory and keep their bond rating up, but Lubbock resident Dorothy Johnson doesn't want an increase no matter what it means.
"I don't need my rates increased for any reason, it's already high enough and it seems like the increases never end," Johnson said.
Tomas Casarez does not agree.
"It's fine as long as they don't shut my power off, that's all I care about," he said. "It's like I say I've been paying them for a long time so to me they've been a real good company."
Kring says that even with the rate increase Lubbock will still have the best rates electric rates in Texas:
"I hope the citizens of Lubbock remember that we have the cheapest electricity of anyone in the state of Texas. We're still cheaper than Xcel like the people in Amarillo pay for electricity and we're a whole lot cheaper than people in Dallas, Fort Worth and San Antonio paying for electricity. Electricity is still a bargain for the people of Lubbock, but we have to have these rate increases to stay financially stable."
Kring is hoping to have the new rate implemented soon but that depends on approval from city council.
Mayor Glen Robertson says right now he backs the plan.
"I'm leaning towards a rate increase, but my only concern is I don't want to hit the citizens with higher prices as we head into the hot summer months," he said. "I think this is a better business model."
The increase is set to be discussed during the May 9, 2013 city council meeting.
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