BARBARA BRANNON | HESPERIAN-BEACON
Floydada Power & Light clients—like electricity customers everywhere in the region after February’s devastating Winter Storm Uri—have probably been holding their breaths to learn the impacts on their power bills and pocketbooks.
But the City of Floydada already got their own right before last month’s council meeting, and it was a doozy. According to city manager Darrell Gooch, FP&L’s charges for the power it buys were 756% above normal.
And while customers will ultimately bear the brunt of that spike, Gooch says the city is working out a plan to minimize the impact and spread it out over time.
“This was a one-in-a-hundred year storm,” said Gooch. Customers and utilities alike had no real way to prepare for the sudden rise in wholesale power costs.
Starting this summer, after taxpayers have completed payoff of the current city bond, the council will add a surcharge to customers’ bills that will pay off the additional cost over a period of several years. The basic kilowatt per hour rate will not change.
Further, the city will use its reserves to pay its own $700,000 power bill in two payments, avoiding the 3.25% carrying charge providers have offered utilities as a way to take care of that obligation. That cost, said Gooch, would have had to be passed along to customers as well, and Floydada’s careful management of its financial resources allows it to take care of the big bill up front.