Mayor Glen Robertson And LP&L’s Clayton Isom Discuss All Things LP&L [AUDIO]
On the Wednesday edition of The Chad Hasty Show, Mayor Glen Robertson and Clayton Isom from the electric utility board talked with guest host Paul R. Beane about both sides of the ongoing issues with LP&L.
LP&L customers are still angered over exponential rate increases for the month of June as a result of a computer error, recouping fuel costs and an early rate increase voted on by the city council. Isom explained that the rate hike was necessary in order to both recoup the money LP&L lost last year, and to also prevent even higher rate increases as time goes on.
Isom: I did vote for the rate increase. The rate consultant that was brought in, his recommendation and the way I understood his recommendation was the sooner we can get a rate increase recommended to the council and implemented, the less the rate increases will have to be down the road.
Robertson explained that many people were only expecting their rates to increase by 7% or 10%, so when all three increases hit at the same time, people were understandably shocked. He added that, while he was opposed to the rate increase taking place in June, he agreed with Isom that rate increase was something that needed to happen.
Robertson: We agreed, everybody, that LP&L was going to have to have a rate hike. They lost 3.2 million dollars last year and we cannot afford to have our electric utility losing money...where we disagree was on timing of the rate hike and on possible what the consultants recommended. I was pushing, and still feel like, that the best thing we could have done as a council...we could not hit our rate payers with a rate increase in June, one of the hottest months of the year when usage goes up.
The two also discussed a number of other issues concerning LP&L, including the billing process, the Lubbock economy and smart meters. Concerning smart meters, Robertson said he still wanted more information on the meters before he made a decision on them, and Isom added that he would be in favor of a plan that allowed consumers to opt of of the meters.
Robertson and Isom took a number of calls from concerned citizens. Caller Gene asked why LP&L did not make any cuts instead of raising everyone's rates, to which Isom replied that there have already been plenty of cuts made by LP&L, including their ad budget and their lack of a CFO. Caller Chris brought up the possibility of selling LP&L, to which both Robertson and Isom both objected. Caller Mikal brought up a number of issues, such as why LP&L seemed so uncaring to the people's outrage over the rate increase, and how LP&L compares to Amarillo's power company.
You can listen to and download the full interviews using the links below.
The Chad Hasty Show airs weekdays from 8:30 AM to 11 AM on NewsTalk 790 KFYO and online at KFYO.com.