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Fully-Local • Non-Partisan • Public-Service Journalism
 

Stories by Bill McCann

EUC backs plan to shift all franchise fees to suburban customers

For months, consumer watchdog Paul Robbins has been pushing a proposal to have suburban customers of Austin Energy pay the total cost of franchise fees that the utility pays to six suburban municipalities for use of public rights-of-way in those…

Austin Energy reduces incentives, credits for solar users on grid

Austin Energy customers who have installed solar electric systems or are planning to install them are facing a reduction in the incentives offered by the utility.   Utility officials defend their actions, saying the reductions are based on budget limits…

Council eases rules on delinquent utility bills

At the urging of advocacy groups and a tenacious City Council Member Kathie Tovo, the Council on Thursday approved an ordinance that gives additional breaks to residential utility customers having trouble paying their bills.   Supporters of the ordinance said…

EUC advocates major policy change on line extensions

Taking a cue from the Austin City Council’s recent action to increase fees for hooking up new water and wastewater service, the city’s Electric Utility Commission has voted to ask the City Council to take similar action for extending new…

Electric cars see jump-start in Austin

With a predicted 300 percent jump in the number of plug-in electric cars taking to the road over the past year, Austin continues to be one of the nation’s leaders in this clean-running form of transportation.   While the numbers…

Austin Energy plans major push on energy app

Austin Energy is getting ready to take a big leap forward in a program aimed at encouraging customers to save energy and money by signing up to get free updates of their electricity use, including email and text alerts when…

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Consultant says doubling city’s solar goal do-able but expensive

Should Austin double its already ambitious solar energy goal?   It’s a question that has begun to get renewed attention from solar advocates, environmentalists, utility officials and others following a year-old recommendation by the City Council-appointed Local Solar Advisory Committee…

Austinites make up 6 of 10 employees at firms with economic agreements

Roughly  6 out of every 10 workers hired by companies that have economic development agreements with the City of Austin live in Austin, according to an informal survey by Austin’s Economic Growth and Redevelopment Services Office.   EGRSO officials say…

Austin Energy offers up heavily modified electric rate proposal

Reeling from opposition by the public and City Council members to a proposed increase in electric rates, Austin Energy officials on Thursday revealed a modified proposal that they hope will be more palatable to ratepayers, while still improving the utility’s…

New Austin Energy proposal may include phased-in rate hikes

Responding to strong concerns from the public and the City Council, Austin Energy plans to deliver to the Council on Thursday an alternative electric rate proposal that may include phased-in rate increases.   City Manager Marc Ott suggested that possibility…

City’s financial advisors warn against delay on raising electric rates

While the Austin City Council is mulling over what to do about electric rates, the city’s outside financial advisors have sent a strong warning that without a rate increase Austin Energy faces a possible downgrade of its bond ratings.  …

EUC majority defends proposed AE rates at Council work session

With Austin Energy’s proposed rate increase facing a barrage of criticism, the City Council sought out the expertise of its advisory Electric Utility Commission Tuesday and got considerable support for the rate package.   Rather than delve into their own…

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