LUBBOCK, TX -- This year, there's no LP&L rate increase coming on June 1st, but LP&L is already starting to talk about conservation and helping people keep their bills down.
Last year, on June 1st, a rate increase started, and then there was also an under-billing issue. Those two things, on top of switching over to summer rates, left many LP&L customers frustrated, even to the point where people protested outside of the downtown offices.
This year, LP&L said there is no rate increase planned for June 1st, meaning instead, people will just switch over to their summer rates as normal. This is, however, after the Electric Utility Board voted for a rate stabilization model.
That new model, LP&L spokesman Matt Rose said, should help people work to conserve and keep their bills lower. "We're able to go to our customers, on June 1st, and say this is your rate, this is what you can expect over the summer season, and therefore any rise in your electric cost is going to be a direct result of increased usage," Rose said.
Rose also said to expect to see LP&L actively working to try to encourage more conservation.
"Out there, talking to our customers, providing them ways that empower them on their side of the meter and allow them to take control of their energy usage, and therefore lower their bills," Rose said.
There are also plenty of places around town to get utility assistance. LP&L has a list on their website, found here.
One of those places is Neighborhood House. Joy Loper with Neighborhood House, said they already have their calendar booked right now for their clients. While they are able to help people, Loper said it is important to be patient with not only Neighborhood House, but also any other utility assistance places, as they may be booked or full at the moment.
"Don't wait until it gets to an emergency situation, because we may not be able to get you in right away," Loper said.
Loper said they have been extremely busy, and will continue to be, as people are going straight from needing help for their winter bills, to already people needing help because of the warmer weather.
"If you call and you can't get through immediately, it means all of our lines are busy, keep calling back until you reach us, we'll try to get you in just as quickly as we can," Loper said.
Another place people have received assistance through LP&L for their bills is through Project Helping Hand. Through that project, LP&L customers can round their bills to the next dollar, and that money will then be collected for use by those in need of assistance.
Last week, Project Helping Hand received a check of $10,000 from the State of the City Address. This year, proceeds from that event went to Project Helping Hand, and Rose said those funds will be available to those in need during the highest stress months, which are July and August.
If you are interested in either finding out how to round your bill, or if you are looking to receive help from Project Helping Hand, you can find more information here.
Both Rose and Loper stressed conservation, saying any way you can update your home, or if you can use less electricity during peak times, will help bills in the long run.