Electric System

How We Keep Your Lights On

Getting power to our individual customers is a combination of generating electricity, transmitting it through the shared state grid and then distributing that power throughout our service area to our individual customers.

All of that is done behind the scenes year round, so that when you flip the switch, your lights turn on.

Our Electric System

Austin Energy has almost 12,000 miles of distribution and transmission lines — that's enough to stretch about halfway around the world. We work around the clock to maintain the integrity of our system to ensure we deliver safe, clean, and reliable power to our customers.

The Austin Energy electric system serves a 437 square mile area, including Austin and portions of Travis, Williamson, and Hays counties.

Transmission and Distribution Infrastructure

Transmission and Distribution Infrastructure
Transmission Lines  624 miles
Distribution Lines 11,651 miles
Transmission Substations  13
Distribution Substations  61
Utility Poles 156,359
Overhead Transformers 43,909
Pad Mount Transformers 40,459

Our Reliability Ratings Are Among the Best

Despite all of the moving parts and distance the electricity is traveling, as a system, we strive to be the most reliable energy out there. The reliability of an energy system such as ours is measured in different ways: SAIDI, SAIFI and SATLPI.
  • SAIDI, or System Average Interruption Duration Index, measures the total duration of an outage for an average customer.
  • SAIFI, or System Average Interruption Frequency Index, is the average number of sustained interruptions per consumer during the year.
  • SATLPI, or System Average Transmission Line Performance Index, measures the average number of transmission line faults per 100 miles.

Essentially, these averages measure how long the average outage lasted and how frequently outages occurred. These averages will fluctuate depending on factors such as severe and inclement weather that can cause more widespread damage to the electrical system and cause longer outages. 

The reliability of the Austin Energy electric system is better than the industry average. We continuously challenge ourselves to achieve SAIDI, SAIFI and SATLPI ratings that are among the best in the nation.

Austin Energy works to improve reliability by investing in equipment upgrades and maintenance.

Standard Austin Energy Goal FY 2018 Austin Energy Metrics
SAIFI — The average number of times a customer’s service was interrupted ≤ 0.72 interruptions 0.62 interruptions
SAIDI — The average duration in minutes ≤ 57.22 minutes 41.43 minutes
SATLPI — The average number of transmission line faults per 100 miles 3.0 faults 1.43 faults

Tree Pruning Reduces Outages

Our tree pruning program is critical to ensuring system reliability, especially during storms.

Outage Response Crews Stand Ready Anytime, Day or Night

Austin Energy has crews on standby around-the-clock, ready to respond quickly to outages. Using a state-of-the-art outage management system, Austin Energy is able to pinpoint the area of an outage and more efficiently assign crews to make repairs and restore power. 

Check out our Storm Center

We Monitor Power Quality

We work very closely with power sensitive companies such as high-tech manufacturing facilities. Austin Energy offers a full range of services to provide backup power and associated services that allow companies to monitor their electrical use online.

The Smart Grid Improves Customer Service

A smart grid is made up of an electric grid, a communications network, hardware, and software. Our smart grid provides quicker outage restoration and better energy efficiency.

Date last reviewed or modified: 3/7/19

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