Electric Service Design & Planning

Criteria for Building and Trade Professionals Who Design or Install Electric Facilities

If you design electrical facilities in the Austin Energy service area, follow our criteria and guidelines to ensure your facilities are built properly.

Austin Energy Design Criteria Manual

The Austin Energy Design Criteria Manual provides criteria, guidelines, definitions, and descriptions for the design and installation of electric facilities that will be served by Austin Energy.

You can download the online version of the 2015 Austin Energy Design Criteria manual for free, or you can buy a printed version.

We make every effort to be accurate in the online design criteria manual. In case of conflict, the official manual on file with the Austin City Clerk's office takes precedence.

October 1, 2014 Updates to the Austin Energy Design Criteria Manual

Effective October 1, 2014 Austin Energy's Line Extension Policy has changed. All Customers must pay 100% of the estimated cost for all labor and material to bring power to their property or development. Austin Energy will pay none of the costs as done under the previous policy. Austin Energy will treat existing requests under the pre-October 1st policy so long as the customer can provide proof that the customer submitted “electrical” plans or an ESPA to Austin Energy prior to October 1, 2014. Any modifications to the “grandfathered” plans will nullify application of the previous line extension policy and result in Austin Energy applying the new policy.

We will update its Design Criteria Manual in early-to-mid 2015 during the normal update cycle. In the interim, please note the following changes to the Design Criteria Manual:

Section 1.3.12 Austin Energy Line Extension Policy is replaced by the following language:

As stipulated in City Council Resolution No. 20140612-057, Austin Energy will begin collecting 100% of the estimated costs associated with line extensions for new service (with an exemption for affordable housing) on October 1, 2014. Estimated costs include all labor and material necessary to make modifications to existing electrical infrastructure to serve requested load while maintaining all existing operational ability. Affordable housing exemptions must be qualified through Neighborhood Housing Department requirements with approved documentation from that department submitted to Austin Energy in order to obtain an exemption.

Section 1.3.13 Austin Energy Excess Facilities/Excess Cost Policy is replaced by the following language:

Excess cost applies to anything a Customer requests which exceeds what Austin Energy would provide as adequate and reliable standard electric service to serve the Customer. This cost applies, but is not limited, to Customer requests for conversion of overhead to underground service, excess transformer capacity, equipment/work to increase reliability such as dual feed service, specific placement or routing of facilities, relocations/removals of facilities, additional points of service and other similar services.

The Customer must pay the full amount of: (i) any excess facilities and/or excess costs, including any applicable fees in the current Council Approved Fee Schedule), (ii) overtime relating to the Customer request and (iii) any anticipated future operating costs resulting from the Customer request.

Underground Policy

For underground service, the Customer must perform all the civil work for the Austin Energy facilities installed on the Customer’s property.

Service Request Category CIAC Policy before Oct. 1, 2014 CIAC after Oct. 1, 2014
Overhead $0 unless exceeding 300' allowance 100% estimated cost paid by requesting party; Civil work by customer
Underground Residential Civil work by customer, Excess facilities charges
Network Civil work by customer, Excess facilities charges
Commercial Civil work by customer, Excess facilities charges
Industrial/Primary Negotiated Negotiated


Download Service and Meter Charges effective October 1, 2014 (pdf)

Austin Energy Affordable Housing Policy

A waiver shall be applied such that the percent discount off of the cost to provide service to a residential development is equal to the percent of affordable housing (%CIAC Discount = %Affordable Housing), with the percentage of affordable housing being as stated on the City of Austin SMART Housing Certification.

CIAC Meter & Service Wire Charges

For residential services where an Austin Energy design is not required, One-Stop will charge the following:

  • Residential overhead service with standard 200 amp meter, up to 75 feet of service wire = $400.
  • Residential overhead service with standard 320 amp meter, up to 55 feet of service wire = $400.
  • Residential underground service with standard 200 amp meter, up to 150 feet of service wire = $800.
  • Residential underground service with standard 320 amp meter, up to 150 feet of service wire = $1600.
  • Standard single phase meter (up to 320 amps) where service wire is provided by customer or was included in an Austin Energy Design = $200.
  • Standard three phase meter where service wire is provided by customer or was included in an Austin Energy Design = $300.
  • Specialty metering equipment will be subject to actual cost.
  • Affordable Housing receives % discount based on SMART Housing Certification.

For projects where an Austin Energy Design is required, Austin Energy's meter and service wire charges will be included in the total line extension cost.

Electrical Service Planning Applications (ESPAs)

You must submit this application to obtain a permit. It is also used by the design team to determine your power requirements.

Learn more about submitting an ESPA

Distribution Interconnection Guide

This guide outlines the process for connecting a distributed generation facility. It also defines the minimum technical and financial requirements for safe integration of customer-owned power production facilities with the Austin Energy Distribution System.

Service Availability Letter

Lenders require the Service Availability Letter as part of the loan approval process for financing a new home purchase or a new construction project.

The City of Austin Development Assistance Center also requires a Service Availability Letter as part of the land development process.

Request a Service Availability Letter

Other Guides, Specifications, Standards, and Code

Browse our electric metering specifications, City of Austin Code, and additional technical resources.

View Other Guides, Specifications, Standards, and Code

Remember to Call Before You Dig

Make one call to get all of your utilities marked. Be safe and avoid costly outages and delays. Call 8-1-1 before you dig.

Learn more about Call Before You Dig

Questions or Feedback?

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