Big news for the city tonight as Lubbock Power and Light announces a buy out of Xcel Energy's Lubbock operations. This means LP&L will essentially be Lubbock's only energy provider, something that hasn't been the case since the 1940's.
LP&L services about 77% of homes in the area, most of the power coming from Xcel wholesale already. And Xcel will continue to provide that power at least until 2019.
Once the two officially become one, the city hopes to clean up a lot of the jumbled areas in downtown, and put all wires, poles, and the like underground. That should open up the areas overhead, and give downtown a more streamlined look.
Now -- officials tell us your rates will not go up. The buyout is being funded through electric revenue bonds, so you shouldn't see a rate increase on your next bill.
Mayor Tom Martin, City of Lubbock: "Municipal utilities generally have the lowest electric rates. We're so proud of that, we've been able to do that over the years, and we pledge to continue that, to keep our rates some of the lowest in the state."
David Eves, Southwestern Public Services: "It's really just rationalizing this situation of duplicate wires and polls. And we'll be able to take the proceeds from that and use it to help grow our company and invest in the new facilities we need to build, and yet keep our rates low."
We're told everything should be switched over by october of 2010, that's when all former Xcell users will be under LP&L management.