Competition and Cheaper Power Could Be Coming Lubbock’s Way
Lubbock Power and Light is continuing to move in the direction of competition in the power market and that, hopefully, will bring about lower prices for consumers. This has been the direction Lubbock Power and Light has been moving and after a Tuesday meeting, it is clear that allowing customers to choose their electric provider in the ERCOT market is where we are moving.
But don't look for competition to happen anytime soon. It will be at least the end of 2023 before a date will be set for competition, and that is if everything stays on time.
According to KAMC, there was no formal item on the agenda about electric competition, just a discussion item. Plans still have to be formally presented and then voted on by the Lubbock City Council as well as by the Lubbock Electric Utility Board. If everything is approved, Lubbock Power and Light customers will choose an electric provider while Lubbock Power and Light will provide transmission lines to get the power where it needs to go.
While citizens will get to choose their provider eventually, those who either don't understand how to choose a provider or decide not to make their own choice will be assigned to a provider. There also must be a backup plan according to KAMC if there is an emergency.
But then, in the event of an emergency – for example, if a provider is suddenly unable to supply power – state law calls for something called a provider of last resort. The EUB voted to hire a provider of last resort.
LP&L could have chosen itself as the provider of last resort. Cost and complexity were cited as reasons to hire a provider instead of LP&L acting on its own.
The plan calls for providers and LP&L to coordinate with each other in 2022. Assuming the timeline stays the same, by the end of 2023, a “go live” date for competition will be set.
All of these plans still have to be approved.