(a message from Austin Energy)
Dear Austin Energy Customers,
On April 18, Austin Energy published proposed base rate changes, launching a public, open and transparent base rate review process.
The municipally owned utility is adapting to a changing landscape for electric utilities and specific conditions in the Austin area so it can continue to safely deliver clean, affordable, reliable energy and excellent customer service. You can learn more about this process at an upcoming community meeting.
Austin Energy needs a $48 million base revenue increase, based on FY 2021 costs of providing electric service to the community. This represents a 7.6 percent overall base rate increase, though actual bill impacts would vary depending on customer class and use. Winter Storm Uri did not cause this proposed increase.
Proposed key residential base rate changes include:
• Updating an outdated residential base rate structure that does not fully recover costs. Austin Energy uses a tiered rate structure, placing customers in a specific tier based on their energy use. Austin Energy proposed reducing the number of residential tiers from five to three, bringing residential customers closer to what it costs to serve them and establishing more equitable rates.
o Tier 1 (0-300 kWh) — 3.8 cents per kWh
o Tier 2 (301-1,200 kWh) — 4.3 cents per kWh
o Tier 3 (1,201+ kWh) — 4.8 cents per kWh
• Increasing the residential Customer Charge from $10 to $25 to better recover fixed costs. The Customer Charge reflects the costs for billing and metering. By setting the Customer Charge at cost, future rate increases may be either deferred or reduced.
• Rolling outside-city residential rates into the revised tier structure. Outside-city residential customers are currently under a three-tier structure. This change will align all residential customers.
A typical residential user consumes 860 kWh per month. A residential customer that uses 860 kWh would see an increase of $15.56 to their electric bill, based on proposed rate changes.
Actual bill impacts will depend on use and vary from customer to customer.
You can learn more about the proposed changes by visiting austinenergy.com/go/rates or by registering to attend a community meeting at www.speakupaustin.org/rates.
2022 Base Rate Review & Process
Austin Energy policy requires a regular review of the utility's costs and revenues. From this recently completed financial analysis, Austin Energy proposed updates to its base electric rates and launched a base rate review process.
This is a fair and transparent process with several guiding principles:
• Establish equitable and fair rates that support Austin Energy’s financial stability.
• Ensure stable bills and simple rates.
• Protect vulnerable customers.
• Preserve energy efficiency and conservation.
The process is open to all Austin Energy customers, and our community has voice in the future of the utility. It features:
• An Impartial Hearing Examiner to examine all issues and make a recommendation on Austin Energy’s base rate proposal.
• An Independent Consumer Advocate to represent residential and small business priorities.
• Community meetings running through May 18.
• Austin City Council setting new rates for Austin Energy, taking effect in 2023.
Here’s How You Can Get Involved
• Community Meetings — Public involvement is essential. You can find online and in-person meetings to attend and ways to make your voice heard. Get community meeting details at www.speakupaustin.org/rates.
Residential Community Meetings
Date Time Location
Thursday, April 21 7–8 p.m. Zoom Virtual Meeting
Tuesday, April 26 6–7 p.m. North Austin YMCA
Thursday, April 28 Noon–1 p.m. Zoom Virtual Meeting
Saturday, April 30 2–3 p.m. Turner Roberts Recreation Center
Tuesday, May 10 6:30–7:30 p.m. Zoom Virtual Meeting
Thursday, May 12 7–8 p.m. Dove Springs Recreation Center
• Formal Impartial Hearing Examiner Process — To take part in the formal Impartial Hearing Examiner process as a Participant, you must be an Austin Energy customer and submit a request to Participate. People who wish to Participate through this process will need to submit a request by Wednesday, May 18. Find more details on the formal IHE process at austinenergy.com/go/rates.
• Value of Solar Community Meetings — As part of the 2022 base rate review process, Austin Energy is looking to update its Value of Solar rate. Austin Energy aims to fairly credit solar customers for the energy that they produce at their homes and businesses. Based on a recently completed study, Austin Energy is proposing a new approach to calculating the Value of Solar rate, allowing for greater transparency and flexibility.
You can find more details and sign up for a Value of Solar Community Meeting at www.speakupaustin.org/value-of-solar.
Value of Solar Meetings
Date Time Location
Tuesday, April 27 6–7 p.m. Manchaca Road Branch, Austin Public Library
Wednesday, May 11 Noon–1 p.m. Zoom Virtual Meeting
Visit austinenergy.com/go/rates to learn more.