City, county officials dispute impact of ERCOT power rates - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

City, county officials dispute impact of ERCOT power rates

Source: ERCOT Source: ERCOT
Source: KCBD Source: KCBD
LUBBOCK COUNTY, TX (KCBD) -

In the next three years, Lubbock could begin to receive power from ERCOT instead of Xcel Energy.

While the Electric Utilities Board says this proposal could save LP&L $20 million per year, it caused concern for Lubbock County Commissioners at their budget hearing Wednesday.

"There's not much that we can do about it," County Commissioner Bill McCay said. "We just have to plan towards that."

While the county's power costs typically increase each year, McCay said they have braced themselves for 2019.

"Our biggest concern is that if LP&L switches to ERCOT, from what we are understanding and from facts that we're trying to gather, it would increase substantially," he said. "It could be up to 15 percent."

 So the commissioners already have a plan in place.

"We're increasing our LP&L budget from $1.4 million to $1.5 million," McCay said.

But for people like John McDonald with McLuthier's Guitar Repair, rearranging his budget is not an option.

"Through my business and through my home, I'm kind of living on the edge of being able to pay my bills and stay in business or keep my home," he said. "That makes it a lot more concerning for me and I'm sure a lot of other people."

McDonald is one of many Lubbock citizens who need to predict what their bills will be from month to month.

"I want to make sure that my usage is accurately reflected on my bill," he said. "If the electric bills go up quite a bit whenever that takes effect, it could be enough to put me out of business and that would be a tragedy."

Matt Rose with LP&L said the data they have analyzed for over 15 months shows even the current total rates are comparable to ERCOT prices.

"For an average customer who used 1,000 KWH in a month, a customer at the city of San Antonio will pay $93," Rose said. "A customer at the city of Austin will pay $98, and a customer at LP&L will pay $89. That should show you that moving into ERCOT is not going to fundamentally change our rates. We believe that moving into ERCOT in the long run is going to lower our rates for our customers."

This is consistent with the data Mayor Dan Pope has seen firsthand.

"We already provide the third lowest rates in the state of cities I think over 100,000," Pope said, "so we have very competitive rates today, and we would not make this decision if we couldn't ensure that we have even more competitive rates going forward."

Moving forward, Pope said they will work to show that none of this data is hidden.

"So much of our effort right now has been on getting through the process for the Public Utility Commission and ERCOT to allow us to be part of that group," Pope said, "and we need to spend a little more time telling the story locally."

For more information about the ERCOT power proposal, visit http://www.lpandl.com/energy-services/2019/

Copyright 2016 KCBD. All rights reserved.

  • Local News on KCBD.comNewsMore>>

  • Trapper saves gator from python's deadly embrace

    Trapper saves gator from python's deadly embrace

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 11:34 AM EDT2018-06-19 15:34:27 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 12:04 PM EDT2018-06-19 16:04:58 GMT

    A video shows the trapper grabbing a 10-foot python by the head and pulling it and the gator out of the water.

    A video shows the trapper grabbing a 10-foot python by the head and pulling it and the gator out of the water.

  • 'Papa! Papa!' Audio of children stokes rage over separation

    'Papa! Papa!' Audio of children stokes rage over separation

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 1:20 AM EDT2018-06-19 05:20:32 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 12:05 PM EDT2018-06-19 16:05:02 GMT
    (U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP). In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a U.S. Border Patrol agent watches as people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the...(U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP). In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a U.S. Border Patrol agent watches as people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the...
    An audio recording that appears to capture the heartbreaking cries of small Spanish-speaking children being processed by U.S. officials stoked the uproar over the policy of separating immigrant children from their...
    An audio recording that appears to capture the heartbreaking cries of small Spanish-speaking children being processed by U.S. officials stoked the uproar over the policy of separating immigrant children from their parents.
  • S. Korea: Joint US drills suspended to aid talks with North

    S. Korea: Joint US drills suspended to aid talks with North

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 1:50 AM EDT2018-06-19 05:50:33 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 12:04 PM EDT2018-06-19 16:04:03 GMT
    (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). A photo showing U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is displayed as a member of People's Democratic Party stands to oppose military exercises between the United States and South Korea near the U.S....(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). A photo showing U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is displayed as a member of People's Democratic Party stands to oppose military exercises between the United States and South Korea near the U.S....

    South Korea says a joint military exercise scheduled with the U.S. has been suspended to support ongoing talks both countries have with North Korea.

    South Korea says a joint military exercise scheduled with the U.S. has been suspended to support ongoing talks both countries have with North Korea.

Powered by Frankly