Austin Energy

9:56 am
Tue June 28, 2011

Austin Energy May Triple Number Who Qualify for Low Income Help

Photo by BFS Man

Austin Energy is considering a small rate hike in order to finance an expansion of its low-income customer assistance programs. If the plan is enacted, it would triple the number of customers that receive discounts.

The proposal would add a surcharge of .065 cents to each kilowatt-hour. That amounts to an increase of about 65 cents a month for a typical customer’s electric bill, according to Ronnie Mendoza, manager of Customer Assistance Program.

Read more
4:30 pm
Mon June 27, 2011

Texas Grid Operator Urges Power Conservation to Avoid Outages

Photo by dan_a

Remember last month when the state’s electric grid operator said it would have adequate power supplies for the summer? Scratch that. It's too hot.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is now asking people to conserve energy after several power plants were tripped offline today amid unusually sweltering weather.

Read more
5:26 pm
Thu May 12, 2011

High Winds Cause Power Outages Across The City

High winds ripped this branch off a tree located on 32nd St. off Tom Green St. The branch then tore down a power line. Austin Energy crews are working to fix problems like this across town.
Photo by Mose Buchele for KUT News

Update at 8:50 am Friday: Austin Energy says power was completely restored to customers at 3 am. Here's their final release.

The majority of outages were due to either tree limbs on power lines or lightning strikes. In all repairs had to be made at more than 260 locations. Many of those repairs were on lines located at the rear of properties rather than at the street. This prevents the use of bucket trucks and requires materials be carried in through backyards, tree trimmers climb trees to remove limbs in power lines and linemen climb poles to make the necessary repairs. About half of the Austin Energy electric system is located at the back of lots rather than at the street.

Update at 5:26 pm: Austin Energy now says the number of people without power is down to 2,400.

Update at 4:50 pm: Austin Energy says the number of people without power is now below 5,000.

Earlier: Austin Energy says it currently has about 11,500 customers without power at 140 different locations across the city. The worst affected area is this part of southeast Austin, where more than 1,700 people are without electricity.

Read more
1:01 pm
Thu April 21, 2011

City Council Approves New Energy Rules For Apartment Homes

Woodwillow Townhomes in South Austin is among the 1,000 apartment complexes in Austin affected by the new ordinance.
Photo by KUT News

Austin City Council approved new rules this morning that could have a big impact on the owners of apartment buildings and the people who live in them. The Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure (ECAD) Ordinance will require multifamily property owners to conduct specialized audits that reveal the energy efficiency of apartments and townhomes. That information would be disclosed to tenants, and the most inefficient buildings would require upgrades.

Read more
4:51 pm
Mon March 28, 2011

Austin Energy Issuing Rebates For Electric Car Charging Stations

A Chevy Volt charging station on display outside the Austin Convention Center during SXSW 2011.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

The city's public utility, Austin Energy, will issue its first rebate check tomorrow for a homeowner who installed an electric vehicle charging station. The rebates are worth up to $1,500. A "Level 2" charging station can be installed for about $2,400.

Read more
4:21 pm
Tue March 1, 2011

Don't Panic Tomorrow If You See Cops Swarming Decker Creek Power Plant

A heavy police presence is expected tomorrow for an emergency exercise at Decker Power Station.
Photo by Caleb Bryant Miller for KUT News

An emergency drill involving a "hypothetical security issue" is scheduled for tomorrow at the Decker Creek Power Station in northeast Austin. Passers-by can expect to see fire trucks, ambulances, cop cars, even a bomb squad vehicle.  Do not panic, it is only a test.

Read more
12:42 pm
Fri February 11, 2011

Why Did Your Power Go Out And Theirs Didn't? Austin Energy's Grid Map Of 376 Circuits

A map of the 376 circuits that make up Austin Energy's power grid.
Image from Austin Energy. Map enhanced by Torrie Hardcastle for KUT News

Not all parts of Austin are created equal when it comes to rolling blackouts. 

As you may have heard, the power outages that hit the city on February 2nd left some parts of town in the dark for hours, while other areas were spared completely. 

Read more
cold weather
11:26 am
Wed February 2, 2011

Here Is Where You Can Find Information on Power Outages In Austin

Image courtesy Austin Energy

We linked to it in an earlier post, but we want to make it as clear as possible about where to find this information. Austin Energy provides data on power outages through its Customer Outage Portal.

Read more
2:07 pm
Tue November 30, 2010

Zilker Tree Will Get Test Lighting Tomorrow Morning

People standing underneath the Zilker Tree in 2006. Austin Energy will test the tree's lights tomorrow morning, but the official lighting won't take place until Sunday.
Image courtesy Flickr user That Other Paper

If you're excited about Sunday's lighting ceremony for the Zilker Tree, don't freak out if you're driving down MoPac tomorrow and you see the 155-foot tall structure already illuminated. It's just a test.

Austin Energy just sent us this email under the subject line, "In case you get calls…"

The Zilker Tree will be switched on tomorrow morning (Wednesday, December 1) beginning at 6 a.m. until about 8 a.m. to allow Austin Energy crews to replace any lights that may be burned out and for any other adjustments that may be needed.

Read more