Author John Steinbeck wrote, “Texas has a tight cohesion perhaps stronger than any other part of America.” In today’s world, we are fortunate to call Texas home, a place where we come together for the good of our people, our community and our growing economy.
The recent collaboration and teamwork of the public and private sectors to bring Lubbock Power & Light (LP&L) to retail competition is the latest example of grouping for progress. About four years in the making, it’s historic for Lubbock as the first city to voluntarily enter the competitive Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) marketplace – giving the citizens of Lubbock the opportunity to choose both who they buy electricity and type in a power suitable for their lifestyle.
According to a 2021 report by the Electric Power Supply Association, consumers have experienced significant benefits in terms of increased efficiency, cost savings, innovations and emission reductions in competitive markets. Peer-reviewed research from Rice University’s Baker Institute shows that areas of retail competition enjoy discounted rates compared to areas of the ERCOT market that remain monopolies. Choice also creates opportunities for cleaner, more reliable energy solutions, helping us to be good stewards of Texas’ excellent state of natural resources.
Additionally, retail competition is bringing new economic opportunities and jobs to Lubbock, benefiting the city as a whole, while new businesses, like Reliant, are already creating a local footprint and offering services. and energy tools to this unique community. One of our guiding principles at Reliant is to be the hands and feet that make a difference where we live and work. We are excited to forge new local ties and build on existing ones, such as our relationship with Texas Tech University and Red Raider Athletics.
So what’s next?
LP&L is working to successfully connect the rest of its system to ERCOT, with over 70% of the work completed. The remaining portion of LP&L’s system is currently scheduled for May 2023. At that point, Lubbock residents will join millions of other Texans in choosing their own electric provider and unlocking a wide range of new services and options that can be tailored to their specific needs. .
We would like to take our hats off to the many people and organizations who made this possible:
• The City of Lubbock Electric Utilities Board, including current Chairman Dan Odom and outgoing Chairman Greg Taylor, who both provided ongoing leadership and guidance on this process.
• Mayor Dan Pope and Lubbock City Council to be committed partners at the city and state regulatory level. And even before that, the council led by Mayor Glen Robertson that started the process ultimately came to this decision.
• LP&L staff and operations for placing the city in a unique position to pursue historic change.
• The people of Lubbock for speaking out and expressing their desire to choose and see the competition come to town.
During this exciting transition, Reliant is committed to educating Lubbock customers about their new options and how best to choose an energy provider and plan that fits their lifestyle. We are committed to helping people make informed choices by providing them with the tools, ideas and options that allow them to choose the best and most convenient way to power their homes and their lives.
Kudos again to Lubbock for embracing this new era of freedom and choice, and for truly giving power back to the people.
Elizabeth Killinger is president of Reliant, which powers, protects and simplifies life by bringing power, security and related services to homes and businesses in Texas.