About the Author
Mike Kanin is the Publisher of the Austin Monitor. As such, he doesn't report on much--aside from the workings of the Monitor--any more. In his previous life as a freelance journalist, Kanin has written for the Washington City Paper, the Washington Post's Express, the Boston Herald, Boston's Weekly Dig, the Austin Chronicle, and the Texas Observer.
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Council OKs AE rate case settlement
Key Austin Energy rate settlement points:
· The utility agrees to reduce its revenue requirement for out-of-city ratepayers by $5.75 million.
· $4.3 million of the reduction will come from energy charges, $1.2 million will come from reductions in community benefit charges, including the Customer Assistance Program
· Out-of-city ratepayers retain a $10 monthly customer service charge
· Though the utility will keep its five-tier structure for out-of-city ratepayers, the top three tiers of users will pay the same rates. This will offer a discount to very heavy electricity users
· Houses of Worship and Independent School districts get to keep the discount included for them in the new rates.
· Though out-of-city ratepayers will pay a reduced charge for the Customer Assistance Program, the utility will fund it at the full $9.6 million approved by Council members in June
· The deal will now have to be approved by the administrative law judges in charge of the case, and eventually the Public Utility Commission. The utility will file detailed settlement documents next week.
This seems to be a good deal for Austin Energy and all those who protested the rates at the PUC have signed off on the deal so it is very likely to win approval.
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