Message from the Director
Austin Energy (AE), the City of Austin’s municipally owned electric utility, provides retail electric service to over 450,000 metered customers in a service area including 206 square miles within the City and 231 square miles in surrounding Travis and Williamson counties. AE either owns or has an ownership interest in a diverse mix of generation resources including natural gas, coal and nuclear. AE also has renewable energy installations and purchased power contracts totaling 1,482.4 megawatts (MW), primarily wind, bringing the total energy resources to 3,975 megawatts (MW). AE owns electric delivery assets including 74 substations, 624 miles of transmission lines and over 11,450 miles of distribution lines.
In fiscal year 2014-15, Austin Energy continued to improve on its mission of “delivering clean, affordable, reliable energy and excellent customer service”. Major accomplishments for the year included:
- An updated Austin Energy Resource, Generation, and Climate Protection Plan to 2025 will provide the utility with a new strategy for power supply, including support for a clean, natural gas-fired generation and expansions in wind and solar energy. City Council’s approval of the “500+ Plan” will continue Austin Energy's national leadership in adopting a clean energy plan, while providing enough dis-patchable power to sell into the grid to make the plan affordable. The new goal for renewable energy is 55 percent of customer energy supply by 2025. To get there, Austin Energy will add solar and wind and reduce power production at the Fayette Coal Power Plant and eventually phase out the Decker Creek Power Station after a proposed gas plant is constructed. As part of the plan, Austin Energy is seeking a “second opinion” on the plan from a consultant before high-dollar commitments are made.
- Excellent system reliability performance was again achieved, despite a wetter than average spring which caused system damage related to the Memorial Day flood. Outage frequency and duration were slightly higher than previous years but still well below industry averages. The average number of times a customer’s service was interrupted (SAIFI) was 0.65 (below the industry average of 1.0 interruptions) with an average duration (SAIDI) of 56.04 minutes (below a 90 minute industry average).
- AE once again achieved a significant reduction in peak demand through energy efficiency. This past fiscal year’s reduction of 66 megawatts saved more than 150 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity. AE made efficiency gains through investments from customers who upgraded their homes or businesses for energy efficiency including issuing nearly $4 million in rebates to the more than 770 small businesses and non-profit organizations who will save 14.5 million kWh per year going forward. Rebates to multi-family property owners for upgrades totaled $2.6 million for 12.6 million kWh savings annually while the Green Building program continued to be very successful, accounting for 32 MW of peak demand savings.
Interim General Manager
Interim General Manager