LUBBOCK, Texas –Summer is on its way, bringing with it the sweltering heat and rising energy usage.
“The cost of the electricity is going to go up because you are consuming more electricity,” said Spokesperson for Lubbock Power and Light, Matt Rose. “Our customers across the board use 2 to 3 times more electricity than they do in the spring months.”
But this year that rising cost of energy is not just because folks are using more of it but because of a higher price of natural gas.
There are three main categories that make up a LP&L energy bill: Rate charged for meter reading, cost to deliver energy to your home, and the price of purchased power like natural gas.
But that purchased power price is set by the market, not LP&L.
“You’ll see that every single utility across the state is passing through natural gas costs that are higher,” said Rose.
The Bailey County Electric Cooperative and Xcel Energy, both part of the Southwest Power Pool, sent out letters saying their rates were also increasing largely because of natural gas.
The last two years, the price of natural gas has been historically low but the average price has increased by 133% since last year.
That causes natural gas to cost more than double what it has the last two summers.
“It’s important for our customers to know that the area of your rate that is under our control that’s been held steady,” said Rose.
While LP&L had a reserve of $15 million to cover natural gas price fluctuations, the fund was used up during February’s winter storm.
But in terms of Lubbock’s switch to ERCOT, LP&L said they are keeping an eye on the grid but say you shouldn’t see an increase on your bill caused by the switch.
“We are encouraged by the fixes the legislature made. We think in the long term it’s going to help, but going into summer it’s a good projection in terms of being able to cover demand for the state. We are going to continue to watch and encourage our customers to be energy efficient cause it helps everybody,” said Rose.
Rose also suggested a few ways you can save on energy now: Turning up the thermostat when leaving for work, keeping blinds closed during the day, and not using incandescent light bulbs, as they give off more heat and are less energy efficient.