Mayor Pro Tem Tom Martin, also a committee member, says it will cost millions and millions of dollars to lay down new gas pipes for Lubbock Power & Light. Because that option is not cost efficient, the city is looking at other options.
"We've looked at a number of ways to save the citizens money on natural gas," says Martin. Martin just had his fourth meeting on Monday with a nine member committee working to cut gas costs. Martin says even though a plan to bring LP&L into the gas business may not be a good choice, there's one that might be.
Atmos Energy spokesman Dan Alderson says the city of Odessa began purchasing its own gas 11 years ago. The city then provides the gas to Atmos. Alderson says Atmos delivers that gas to the customers at no cost to the city. It is a choice Martin says the committee is exploring. "They're able to save their customers some money over the traditional way by simply buying gas on a regional basis," said Martin.
Alderson says it's an option Atmos supports 100%. He says when the city goes on a search for cheaper gas then the city becomes another vender choice for Atmos and Lubbock customers.
City Councilman Gary Boren says in addition to that, the City of Lubbock is also looking at changing the law on "grip filings." It is a legal way for energy companies to raise its rates in order to get reimbursed for its expenses. Boren wants legislation to be more specific about reimbursements. You may recall city leaders questioned Atmos about reimbursements for laptops, fax machines, and new chairs spent for Amarillo and Dallas offices that Lubbock customers were asked to pay.
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