LANCASTER — The city has the ability to provide renewable energy to residents. Lancaster could add natural gas, cable television, telephone and telecommunication services under a proposed municipally-owned  utility the City Council will consider at tonight’s meeting.

“As part of our smart cities effort, we’ve installed fiber-optic networks already throughout our city, and then we’re looking at putting our streetlights into Wi-Fi hotspots as well as 5G networks,” City Manager Jason Caudle said Monday.

Lancaster Choice Energy, the first City Community Choice Aggregator in the state, has saved customers millions of dollars and developed programs that have helped homes and businesses become more energy efficient.

“The establishment of a municipal utility is the next step in continuing to ensure that citizens and businesses are provided with utility services that meet the current and future needs of the community,” Caudle wrote in a staff report for the council agenda.

The proposed telephone service could be provided via Voice over Internet Protocol, a method of transmitting sound as data over the Internet, allowing for inexpensive phone conversations.

“The establishment of a municipal utility is the next step in continuing to ensure that citizens and businesses are provided with utility services that meet the current and future needs of the community,” Caudle wrote. “As a municipal utility, Lancaster will have the opportunity to utilize advanced technology, provide utility services at rates and charges that are fair and reasonable, provide high quality customer service, and provide alternatives to existing providers of utility services similar to what the City achieved through the development of the City’s CCA.”

The City Council will meet at 5 p.m. today in council chambers at City Hall, 44933 Fern Ave.

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