Lompoc's temporary 3% rate reduction on electric utilities instituted nine years ago ended Thursday, resulting in a return to 2011 rate levels, according to city officials. 

The temporary reduction to residential and commercial electric rates was implemented on Aug. 1, 2012, as a temporary one-year program, but was extended despite rising energy costs.

However, according to officials, due to mounting costs, the fiscal issue needed to be addressed.

The City Council at its June 16 regular meeting voted to end the rate reduction program as part of the city's 2021-23 budget, which was concurrently adopted.

Officials noted that increased rates still represent a substantial value compared to neighboring utility providers.

For those seeking assistance with paying past-due utility bills, the city is offering a COVID-19 Utility Grant Assistance Program to qualifying customers. The grant is funded through the city’s Community Development Block Grant program. 

In addition, utility delinquent fees and disconnections for nonpayment are being waived at this time, officials said.

For more information, visit www.cityoflompoc.com or contact customer service at 875-8250 or 875-8253 for billing questions.

Lisa André covers lifestyles and local news for Santa Ynez Valley News and Lompoc Record.