Austin Energy Bills To Get Huge 71% Monthly Fuel Price Hike!

By Bill Oakey, September 23, 2022

Halloween will not be the scariest time for Austin Energy customers this year. The very next day, November 1st, the new monthly Power Supply Adjustment Charge will kick in. This will spike by a whopping 71%. But that’s only Part 1 of the post-Halloween shock. Part 2 features a 24% increase in the monthly Regulatory Charge. Austin Energy estimates that the “average customer,” using only 860 kilowatt hours per month will see a $20 increase every single month. But it will be significantly higher during the hot summer months. If you live in a house with more than a couple of rooms, that $20 monthly increase could easily be into the $30’s or higher. 

Here are the changes to these charges:

Power Supply Adjustment
Current Rate: .02877
New Rate: .04917

Regulatory Charge
Current Rate: .01206
New Rate: .01495

On my bill ending this July 11, I used 1,478 kWh. And that’s with the thermostat rarely set below 80. The Power Supply Adjustment and the Regulatory Charge combined totaled up to $60.34. Under the new rates, that total would climb to $94.77. That’s an increase of $34.43. Imagine what that might look like next summer, if the City Council approves the base rate increase that they are considering. The increase in the customer charge alone would add another $15.00. The battle to curtail that rate increase is continuing, with consumer advocates talking and corresponding daily. Wish us the best of luck!

Check out this document and this memo for the details of the November price hikes.

The fuel changes are partly driven by the scandalous, legalized ERCOT price gouging that all Texans were hit with during the 2021 winter storm. The price of natural gas has spiked all over the world, since the war in Ukraine began. The heatwave has pushed the ERCOT grid to its limits. So, the gas producers can take advantage of the exorbitant price caps set by the Texas Legislature. When those folks claimed that they “fixed the grid,” they lowered the gas price cap to only an egregiously outrageous level, instead of the previous outlandishly astronomical level. Austin Energy burns gas  for some of its own gas power plants, but must rely on ERCOT bid prices during peak periods.

These new fixed charge increases will come on top of our soaring summer bills from the worst heatwave in Austin history. In a period of record high inflation and skyrocketing property tax appraisals. This adds a new urgency to fight the base rate increase. Take the time to send an email to each member of the City Council. Ask them to pay close attention to the experts who testified during the rate case. There are plenty of well-articulated strategies to offset the need for a rate increase. Share this blog piece with your friends and social media.

Use These One-Click Links to Email Every City Council Member:

Mayor Steve Adler steve.adler@austintexas.gov
1. District 1 – Natasha Harper-Madison natasha.madison@austintexas.gov
2. District 2 – Vanessa Fuentes vanessa.fuentes@austintexas.gov
3. District 3 – Sabino “Pio” Renteria sabino.renteria@austintexas.gov
4, District 4 – Jose “Chito” Vela chito.vela@astintexas.gov
5. District 5 – Ann Kitchen ann.kitchen@austintexas.gov
6. District 6 – Mackenzie Kelly mackenzie.kelly@austintexas.gov
7. District 7 – Leslie Pool leslie.pool@austintexas.gov
8. District 8 – Paige Ellis paige.ellis@austintexas.gov
9. District 9 – Kathie Tovo kathie.tovo@austintexas.gov
10. District 10 – Mayor Pro Tem Alison Alter alison.alter@austintexas.gov

 

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