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Jo Clifton is the Politics Editor for the Austin Monitor.
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Austin City Council Public Utility Committee: A City Council committee that reviews issues related to water and drainage utilities.
Austin Energy: As a municipally-owned electric utility, Austin Energy is a rarity in the largely deregulated State of Texas. It's annual budget clocks in at over $1 billion. The utility's annual direct transfer of a Council-determined percentage of its revenues offers the city a notable revenue stream.
Austin Energy 2012 rate increase: 2012 marked the first time in roughly two decades that the city's municipally-owned electric utility asked for an increase in the rates it charges customers. The process took about a year to wind its way through deliberation, passage, and an expected challenge from ratepayers outside city limits who challenged the increase at the State's Public Utility Commission.