LUBBOCK, TX - Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope announced on Tuesday he supports electric competition to return to Lubbock, a move that would provide citizens with options beyond Lubbock Power and Light.
Pope addressed the issue in rebuttal testimony filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas.
The testimony was filed as LP&L continues the process of joining the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).
Related Story: LP&L Hopes a Move to ERCOT Could Lower Utility Costs
Pope released a statement regarding the testimony, saying in part, “I remain committed to a successful transition and opportunity to bring the most reliable and cost effective power possible to our citizens.”
“I will request that the City Council discuss a resolution to memorialize the City’s intent to carefully research the best way to transition our citizens to the retail electric market upon Public Utility Commission approval of our entry into the ERCOT market,” Pope also said in testimony.
In his testimony, Pope explained the City's 2009 decision to acquire the electrical assets of Xcel Energy (Southwestern Public Service Company), which ended electric competition in Lubbock.
The city's retail competition at the time was inefficient, Pope said, so a previous City Council voted to end dual-service retail competition.
However, as mayor, Pope said he commonly hears from citizens who want a competitive electric market. Those requests, along with his belief in competition, led Pope to advocate for competition in Lubbock.
“I believe LP&L ratepayers deserve the same opportunities to have choices for retail electric service that are enjoyed by the majority of Texans,” Pope said in his testimony.
Economic development is another motivating factor for Pope, he said. Companies interested in Lubbock's facilities frequently ask about the city's electrical services.
If Lubbock participates in the ERCOT market, the City will “develop a transition plan that will allow Lubbock to opt-in to the competitive retail market at the earliest practicable date,” Pope said.
Pope said he plans to request discussion of the market plan during the City Council's next meeting on January 11.
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