Amid these major changes to how you shop for electricity in Lubbock, you may be feeling overwhelmed.
Why do you have to choose a new provider at all? Who is responsible for these changes and why did they make these decisions? Is this really for your benefit?
In this article, we’ll explore the history of energy deregulation in Lubbock, who was involved, and what events transpired that led to where we are now.
Quick History of Lubbock Electricity
Lubbock homeowners could purchase electricity from Lubbock Power & Light or Xcel Energy.
Lubbock Power & Light and Xcel Energy came to an agreement that would allow LP&L to purchase Xcel Energy’s Lubbock customer base. All citizens in the region would be serviced by LP&L, while Xcel Energy would continue to supply wholesale power to LP&L. This agreement was made official on October 29, 2010. The goal was to get rid of duplicated and inefficient efforts regarding power lines and transmission.
On September 24, 2015, Lubbock Power & Light and Lubbock City Council jointly announced their intention to join ERCOT. The reason? LP&L’s contract with Xcel Energy to purchase wholesale electricity was set to expire in 2019. After comprehensive studies and workshops looking into how Lubbock’s entry to ERCOT would impact rates, LP&L and Lubbock City Council determined that this change would benefit the public.
LP&L officially submitted a formal application to join ERCOT.
LP&L’s application to join ERCOT was approved by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT).
LP&L successfully connected 70% of customers to the ERCOT grid.
Lubbock City Council unanimously voted to join ERCOT.
LP&L completed moving the remaining 30% of customers to the ERCOT grid in December 2023.
The Customer Choice shopping window opened in the beginning of January 2024. Deregulation has begun and customers can now choose from dozens of Texas electricity providers.
Who Chose to Deregulate Lubbock Electricity?
There were several players involved in the decision for Lubbock to join ERCOT.
- Lubbock Power & Light: One of two key players in making the decision
- Lubbock City Council: The second key player in making the decision
- Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT): Worked with LP&L to connect local infrastructure to the rest of the Texas grid
- Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT): Reviewed and approved the application to join the ERCOT grid
What Are the Benefits of Deregulation?
Key benefits of switching from a regulated to a deregulated energy market in Lubbock include:
- Customers are now free from an electricity monopoly — you can choose your own provider and plan.
- The Lubbock power grid is now connected to a diversified energy portfolio of Texas power plants including wind, natural gas, solar, and coal.
- LP&L no longer needs to build a new power plant to support the city. The power plant was estimated to cost between $350-$700 million and some of the costs associated with construction and implementation would have been passed to Lubbock citizens, potentially severely increasing the cost of electricity in the region.
- Instead of building a new power plant, LP&L must build new transmission lines estimated to cost around $110 million and to be paid over 5 years.
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