Austin Energy At-A-Glance

Serving Austin Since 1895

Customer Driven. Community Focused.

Austin Energy is an enterprise of the City of Austin. Community-owned since 1895, it provides electric power and retail energy services to the Greater Austin area. The Austin City Council sets rates and terms and conditions of service. Austin Energy is part of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

Five of the nation’s 20 largest cities own their electric utility. Only two other cities — the City of San Antonio and the City of Los Angeles — are larger in population than Austin. In the United States, 2,020 public entities, mostly cities, own their own electric utilities. Together, public power serves 49 million Americans.

Financial

All revenues of Austin Energy come from the sale, distribution and transmission of electric power and provision of chilled water. In FY 2017, total revenues were $1.37 billion. Revenue has increased in recent years, primarily from growth in industrial load.

Base rates are typically reviewed every five years. Pass-through rates to cover highly variable costs are usually set annually. The largest variable cost is the Power Supply Adjustment (PSA).

Revenue
Fiscal Year Operating Revenue 
2017 $1.37 billion
2016 $1.38 billion
2015 $1.36 billion
2014 $1.39 billion
2013 $1.30 billion
2012 $1.18 billion

 

Austin Energy earns no profits and pays no federal income taxes. All revenues benefit the customers of Austin Energy and the residents of the City of Austin. The primary financial benefit to the City of Austin is Austin Energy’s transfer to the General Fund, which is allocated by elected Council Members to municipal purposes such as police, fire and parks. The amount is set by policy and has ranged from $105 million to $110 million in recent years.

Customers

Austin Energy customers are primarily residential (89%); 11% are commercial and industrial customers. Customer growth has been strong for many years. Customer growth has exceeded electric sales growth because Austin Energy incentivizes customers to reduce their electric power usage and save money.  

Customers
Fiscal Year Total Customers Total MWh Sales Total $ Sales
2017 472,701 12.982 million $1.18 billion
2016 461,343 12.874 million $1.20 billion
2015 450,443 12.674 million $1.20 billion
2014 439,403 12.572 million $1.25 billion
2013 430,582 12.305 million $1.19 billion
2012 422,370 12.534 million $1.07 billion

 

Customer Account Profile (Number of Customers)
Customers  FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016  FY2017
Residential 376,614 383,257 391,410 401,556 411,366 421,752
Commercial  44,006 44,850 45,407 46,253 47,352 48,285
Industrial 82 138 151 127 110 104
Other 1,668 2,237 2,435 2,507 2,515 2,560
Total 422,370 430,582 439,403 450,443 461,343 472,701

 

Traditional Generation Infrastructure

Unlike many other municipal utilities, Austin Energy owns and operates power plants. It owns natural gas fueled power generation facilities and owns interests in a coal plant and a nuclear-powered plant. As with all power producers within ERCOT, all output is sold to the ERCOT market at prices set by the competitive market.     

Rated Generation Capacity
Name Type Year of Newest Unit Rating in Megawatts
Sand Hill Gas – Combined cycle combustion and gas turbine 2010 608 MW
Decker Gas – Gas turbine and steam unit 1988 961 MW
Mueller Gas turbine 2006 5 MW
Fayette Power Project Coal 1980 598 MW (Austin share)
South Texas Project Nuclear  1989 438 MW (Austin share)

 

Renewable Generation Infrastructure, Off-Site Power and Storage, and Energy Efficiency

Austin Energy is a leader in adopting innovative technologies and the use of renewable energy. In 2017, Austin Energy offset 36% of the carbon associated with the electric consumption with production of solar, wind and biomass energy produced by private power companies. The offset will reach 55% by 2025 and 65% by 2027.

Renewable Energy Load Offset
Fiscal Year Percentage 
2017 36%
2016 30%
2015 23%
2014 22%
2013 20%
2012 15%

 

  • Chilling Stations — Austin Energy operates three central chilling stations for air conditioning use in downtown and other high-density areas. This operation moves peak electric use to non-peak periods to save money.
     
  • Power Storage — In early 2018, Austin Energy installed a major 1.5-megawatt battery for distribution-level power storage from renewable and other resources.
     
  • Energy Efficiency — Austin Energy also has made steady progress in energy efficiency for more than three decades. Today, Austin Energy has the lowest average residential kilowatt-hour use in ERCOT (second-lowest in Texas).

Transmission Infrastructure

Austin Energy owns and operates a high-voltage transmission system to move electricity from power generation facilities to substations for distribution. The transmission system is utilized by Austin Energy, as well as other utilities within ERCOT, with rates regulated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Transmission revenue is earned from utilities within ERCOT, including Austin Energy, and not directly from retail customers.

Austin Energy finished FY 2017 with 624 miles of transmission lines and 13 transmission-level substations.

Distribution Infrastructure

The highly visible role of Austin Energy is to safely and reliably distribute electricity from its substations to customers’ homes and businesses throughout the Austin area.     

Austin Energy finished FY 2017 with 11,591 miles of distribution lines and 61 distribution-level substations. 

Reliability

Austin Energy spends millions a year to maintain, replace and modernize its distribution system. As a result, outages experienced by customers are relatively few and short.

Reliability
Standard Austin Energy Goal FY 2017 Austin Energy Metrics
SAIFI — The average number of times a customer’s service was interrupted ≤ 0.75 interruptions 0.79 interruptions
SAIDI — The average duration in minutes ≤ 57.22 minutes 60.94 minutes
SATLPI — The average number of faults on each transmission line per 100 miles 3.0 faults 2.24 faults

 

Learn More

 

Last Updated: 11/7/18

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