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Austin Energy says reserve funds low

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 by Jo Clifton

According to Austin Energy General Manager Larry Weis, the utility needs to add more than $165 million to its strategic reserves in order to meet the standards and policies set by City Council for the utility. Of three strategic reserve funds, only one, the Emergency Reserve, is on target. That fund contains about $90.74 million. On the other hand, the Strategic Reserve Contingency Fund, used for unanticipated events that reduce revenue or unexpected costs, has only about $16.5 million. According to city policy, it should have $90 million. The final reserve fund, which is used to defer or minimize future rate increases, build new generating capacity or balance power costs, is unfunded at the moment, according to Weis’ memo. That fund should have more than $126.3 million. Weis sent the memo Tuesday to allow time for Council to study the numbers and the brief description of the 21 different policies related to reserves, as well as other financial considerations. Council will meet as the Austin Energy Committee at 9 a.m. Thursday, before the 11 a.m. Council meeting.


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