ARMA is an intervenor in the City of Austin Rate Case—a formal process used to examine energy cost and set rates from our public utility, Austin Energy (AE). In the past several years, AE has become uncompetitive. With natural gas and other forms of traditional energy being cheap, cost around the state have decreased dramatically except here at home. For instance, a recent ARMA study, showed that manufacturers in the deregulated market like Dallas or Houston pay 40% less for energy. We feel this is unacceptable and along with ARMA members, Samsung and NXP, we petitioned an Independent Hearing Examiner, and impartial judge in the Rate Case, to recommend that AE change practices in order to reduce their operating cost enough to lower energy bills for all customers, residential, commercial, and industrial. His initial report was released earlier this month and it appears he agrees with us on many points. Here are two articles to update you on the process. In short, I am hopeful that we will see a significant reduction in our bills starting in January 2017.
Ed Latson, ARMA Executive Director
Who pays more, saves more under proposed Austin Energy rates?
By Nolan Hicks - American-Statesman Staff
Austin Energy rate redo would mean cuts for commercial customers.
The utility is challenging an independent finding that its surplus could be triple what it claims.
Austin Energy laid out its case Monday for using a projected $24 million surplus to fund a revamping of the utility’s rate structure that would slash rates for commercial customers.
The plan, outlined to City Council members at a special hearing, also calls for restructuring the utility’s residential rates — increasing the base electric rate that all customers pay to trim the higher rates paid by customers who consume more electricity. It would also do away with seasonal rate changes that can send bills skyward during the summer.
Austin Energy defends its rate proposals to Council
By Jack Craver - Austin Monitor
City Council members didn’t have a whole lot to say on Monday during their first hearing regarding the electricity rates that Austin Energy, the city-owned electric utility, has proposed for the next five years.
Convened as the Austin Energy Utility Oversight Committee (a committee of the full Council), they sat, for the most part, silent and expressionless as they listened to testimony from both Austin Energy officials and the impartial hearing examiner hired by the city to oversee the rate review, which began in January. Since then, two dozen parties, including individuals, advocacy groups and businesses, have signed up as “intervenors” to advocate for a variety of changes to electricity rates.
The few comments that Council members did make reflected hesitation to embrace some of the utility’s proposals, which have been criticized as regressive by advocates for the environment and low-income consumers.
For full article go to: http://www.austinmonitor.com/stories/2016/08/austin-energy-defends-rate-proposals-council/