The way you pay for gas will not change, for now. Monday morning, the city council voted unanimously to rescind Atmos Energy's proposed new rate structure plan.
The is bottom line the Lubbock City Council didn't think the proposed new rate structure plan is a deal for you the customers. "It's our duty to try to get the lowest rates with the lowest costs and the highest rebates for prior service on behalf of the customers in Lubbock," Mayor Tom Martin said.
The city and Atmos Energy have discussed your bill for nearly two years. In May, Atmos brought a conservation plan to the city council, lead by former Mayor David Miller, for approval. "It gives the customer, our citizens a little bit more control over their bill," Councilman John Leonard said back in May.
The proposed plan had a built in savings for customers. In addition, if the city and Atmos could agree on upon the numbers of it the plan was to take effect in January. But on Monday, the city council took the entire plan off the table. "Atmos was unwilling to accept our figures and we were unwilling to accept theirs," Mayor Martin said.
"It's unfortunate for us, the city staff and for our customers," Dan Alderson, the Director of Public Affairs for the West Texas Division of Atmos.
Since May, a new mayor has moved into City Hall along with some new city staff members. Alderson says the city also used new rate consultants to look at the proposal. "The consultants for the city, they were basically changing some of the components of the already agreed-upon formula," Alderson said.
So now, Alderson says they'll now have to start back at the beginning. "Reevaluate what our plans are and come back to the city after the first of the year," Alderson said.
Mayor Martin says they also will go back to the drawing board and look at plans other cities across Texas have adopted. Both sides tell us there are no hard feelings. They just couldn't reach an agreement.
Atmos can appeal the council's decision to the Railroad Commission of Texas.
Lubbock City Council Approves New Atmos Rate Plan
Atmos says the less gas you use, the more you could save on future natural gas bills. Thursday, Lubbock City Council members approved a new Atmos rate system. This comes after nearly two years of efforts between the city and Atmos.