Lubbock City Council Makes Appointments to the Electric Utility Board and Approves Resolution Suspending Atmos Energy Rate Increase
Tuesday evening, the Lubbock City Council met at Citizens Tower for their second meeting of the month. The city council unanimously made five total appointments to the Electric Utility Board (EUB). The council appointed Pastor Solomon Fields to the EUB to replace Kelly Turner, who recently resigned. Also, EUB members Jane Henry, Kevin McMahon, Dan Odom, and Gwen Stafford were all re-appointed to new terms to serve on the board. Odom is currently the chairman of the nine-member EUB.
In other action from Tuesday's city council meeting, the council voted unanimously to suspend a proposed rate increase from Atmos Energy (the natural gas provider in Lubbock). Officially, the proposed rate increase has been pushed back to February 2, 2021, pending a settlement with Lubbock and three other cities.
As part of the resolution passed by the council, the City of Lubbock has retained the law firm of Herrera Law & Associates to represent the city in the proceedings related to Atmos Energy's rate case before the City and Atmos Energy's application for the rate increase with the Texas Railroad Commission.
Lubbock has joined the cities of Amarillo, Dalhart, and Channing in filing against the Atmos Energy rate increase and all four cities will negotiate as a single party against Atmos Energy.
According to city documents, Atmos Energy is seeking to increase their revenues approximately $8.3 million across the four aforementioned Texas cities. In addition, as shown on the table below, Lubbock would bear the brunt of the increase, with the Residential, Transportation, and Public Authority customer classes seeing the highest rate increases for the cost of gas.
|Atmos Energy Proposed 2020 Rate Increases Overall Bill Impact (Includes Cost of Gas)|
|Class of Customer||Amarillo, Dalhart, and Channing||Lubbock|
|Residential||7.88% increase||8.27% increase|
|Commercial||7.49% increase||6.19% increase|
|Industrial||3.7% decrease||4.31% increase|
|Transportation||5.09% increase||40.96% increase|
|Public Authority||5.04% increase||7.86% increase|
Lubbock bearing the brunt of the proposed increase can also be shown in the increases in overall revenue for Atmos Energy, as shown in their proposal.
|Revenue Impact - Atmos Energy Proposed 2020 Rate Increases|
|Class of Customer||Amarillo, Dalhart, and Channing Revenue Increase (Excluding gas)||Amarillo, Dalhart, and Channing Revenue Increase (Including gas)||Lubbock Revenue Increase (Excluding gas)||Lubbock Revenue Increase (Including gas)|
|Industrial & Transportation||0.1%||0.1%||22.6%||14.1%|
If a settlement cannot be reached concerning the proposed Atmos Energy increase, then the matter would move to the Texas Railroad Commission.