LP&L will no longer be an electricity provider in Lubbock beginning fall 2023

A file photo shows the Lubbock Power & Light power plant on Highway 84 on Feb. 16, 2021.
A file photo shows the Lubbock Power & Light power plant on Highway 84 on Feb. 16, 2021.

Lubbock Power & Light announced Wednesday afternoon that it would no longer serve the Lubbock market as an electricity provider beginning Fall 2023 -- leaving residents and business owners with their own choice for retail electricity providers.

"We're going to be the first municipally owned utility to release our customers," LP&L spokesman Matt Rose told the A-J. "When we make this transformation, we will still own all the electric grid that we currently maintain. We will just focus on the reliability of the grid and delivering the power that our local residents and business owners choose."

Beginning next summer, Lubbock residents and business owners will be able to select from dozens of retail electricity providers, who will offer between 100 to 150 plans combined, before breaking off from LP&L in the fall, Rose said.

LP&L's notice comes at least 12 months prior to the scheduled launch of a competitive electric environment in Lubbock, as required by law.

“Official notice of opting-in to ERCOT’s retail competitive electric market is an important step in our path to transform LP&L into an efficient and reliable electric delivery system and gives customers what they have been asking for – choice,” LP&L Director Joel Ivy said in a news release.  “Giving customers the ability to pick their own providers is historic for a municipally-owned utility and one that we are excited about. This will be the culmination of several years of hard work and one we believe will serve Lubbock citizens well.”

Prior to the transition, LP&L will move the remaining 30% of its customers still connected to the Southwest Power Pool onto the ERCOT market in May 2023 -- a move that's come after years of planning between city and state utility leaders and millions of dollars in infrastructure upgrades.

"You wouldn't want some of your customers to be able to choose, while others cannot," Rose said. "Often, it'd end up being one neighbor having choice, while the other doesn't."

The company will continue to be responsible for long-term maintenance and will continue to own transmission lines, in which it will receive a "rate of return" revenue from every provider that uses them.

This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: LPL will no longer be an electricity provider in Lubbock in Fall 2023