We have received several calls from LP&L customers wanting to know why their utility bills skyrocketed this month.
In May we were told there would be an average 9.7 percent rate increase beginning in June.
That's about $7 to $10 dollars more per month for the average customer.
But this month, many customers were caught by surprise when they opened their utility bills.
Some say they have seen as much as a 250 percent rate increase from last month.
On Wednesday evening, LP&L released a statement, saying:
LP&L customers receiving their bills for July are being met with a high cost of electricity and we understand that. Summer electric bills will always be the highest every year. With our new rate structure implemented in June, our customers are seeing increases compared to where they were last summer.
LP&L is in the process of making sure that all customers have been accurately billed. If we find any instance where a customer was incorrectly billed, LP&L will quickly resolve the issue.
Maintaining our customers trust is very important to us. If any customer feels that he or she has been inaccurately billed, please contact us at (806) 775-2509.
Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson also issued a statement on his Facebook page Wednesday night:
I am receiving hundreds of calls and emails concerning citizen's LP&L bill. I have been referred to a Facebook site called "I hate LP&L" where I have read more complaints. I am very concerned about the negative effect this rate increase is having on all Lubbock citizens. I will be opposing a proposed increase in the storm water rate as well as trying to continue to lower the base meter fee charge for water. We cannot add additional burdens on our taxpayers after the recent actions of LPL.
But the mayor had even more to say. Before he made his official statement, Robertson made his case directly on the "I hate LP&L" page, where he provided a more detailed statement:
I was referred to this sight several hours ago and have spent the last two hours reading all of the posts and replies.
I have been spent the last year attempting to shed light on several issues concerning LP&L. The rate increase you are seeing on your electric bill was recommended by consultants who where paid over $250,000.00 for a rate model study. The consultants recommended a four step increase over the next four years. They also recommended that the first step not be implemented until October 1st 2013.
The board voted 9-0 in favor of recommending to the City Council to approve the rate increase as presented by the consultants. However, the recommendation somehow change by the time it reach City Council and it was recommended that the rate be increased four months earlier in June.
This will create approximately $10,000,000.00 in extra revenue this year and close to 20 million next year. we need to remember that there are still three more rate increases for the next three years in the recommendation.
The Council voted 6-1 in favor of approving the rate increase with me casting the lone vote against. It is my belief that the LP&L board and City Council were misled by LPL staff on the effect this would have on customers.
The City Charter requires that an appointed board manage LPL and that the CEO reports to this board and not the City Council or City Manager. As a result, there is very little that I can do as Mayor about this situation. I am very sorry about how this rate increase is effecting all Lubbock citizens and I will continue to keep discussing this and other LP&L issues publicly in hopes that we can cause positive change.
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