2017 Year in Review
Provides effective code education and fair and equitable enforcement of
local property maintenance, land use and nuisance codes, in order to
gain and maintain compliance, so that Austin will be safe and livable.
- Responded to 24,308 calls for service from Austin 3-1-1 which resulted in finding 10,518 violations and issuing 5,620 notices of violation.
- Expanded inspection coverage to a six-day work week and increased the daily coverage by four hours.
- Played an integral role defending the City’s Short Term Rental ordinance in a court case that attempted to invalidate those regulations.
- Forwarded 84 cases to the Building and Standards Commission, 159 cases to the Administrative Hearing process and 207 cases to Municipal Court. Participated in a total of 83 community events, including neighborhood meetings and community projects.
- Reached settlements in two ongoing housing cases: the first compensated the City $150,000 in penalties owed and secured future affordable housing units. An additional $600,000 was reallocated to assist 15 households. The second case required the owners of an apartment complex to sell the property, make repairs, refund rent money to tenants, and return $2 million to the City in affordable housing help.
Assisted a World War II Veteran in bringing his property into compliance with the collaboration of various volunteer groups and local businesses, including the Austin Police Department Explorer Program and the City of Austin Veterans Program.
Austin Convention Center
The Austin Convention Center Department provides state-of-the-art meeting facilities for events, attracting thousands of visitors to the “Live Music Capital of the World.” The convention center facilities include the Austin Convention Center, Palmer Events Center, and three parking garages.
- Recorded record high Hotel Occupancy Tax collections—4.5% increase compared to 2016.
- Exceeded overall customer satisfaction rating goal of 4.55 on 5-point scale.
- Hosted 42 Conventions, 23 were new business, 16 were consumer shows.
- Hosted a Professional Conference Managers Association-Annual Convening Leaders Conference with record breaking attendance of more than 4,000 and more than 2,000 senior meeting planners, many of which have potential to bring future meetings to Austin.
- Completed building and parking garage projects to improve customer service and enhance green initiatives, including: upgraded 75% of the pre-function lighting to more energy efficient LED lights; modernized 4 sets of escalators; aesthetically enhanced the PEC facility.
- Diverted over a million pounds of waste from the landfill.
- 2017 Industry Awards Readers’ Choice Award
- Presented by ConventionSouth Magazine
- Nominated by meeting planners and awarded to meeting sites that display exemplary creativity and professionalism
- Platinum Choice AwardPresented by Smart Meetings MagazineVoted on by meetings industry professionals; recognizes the best in all facets of the industry
- National Prime Site Award WinnerPresented by Facilities and DestinationsSelected by meeting industry executives directly involved in site selection, i.e. association executives, meeting planners, and trade show managers
- LEED Gold recertification for ACCAwarded by Green Business Certification, Inc. for most recent rating period
Safely delivers clean, affordable, reliable energy and excellent customer service.
- Improved affordability by cutting base electric rates for homes and businesses by $42.5 million a year. New rates went into effect Jan. 1, 2017.
- Launched a new online outage map and text message alert system to better communicate with customers during power outages.
- Launched an award-winning program, Electric Drive, an electric vehicle hub in downtown Austin supplied by renewable energy that provides charging options for two- and four-wheel electric vehicles plus public space, bike and car sharing, and access to local hike-and-bike trails. This is part of a 1,400 EV subscriber network with more than 172 charging locations.
- Improved sustainability by offsetting the carbon impact of electricity used by Austin Energy customers. In fiscal year 2017, Austin Energy purchased enough wind and solar power to meet about 36 percent of its customers’ power needs, up from 31 percent in 2016. With new wind and solar agreements in 2017, Austin Energy is expected to become 51 percent renewable in 2020. Austin Energy added 276 MW of renewable resources in 2017.
- Exceeded 2017 megawatt savings from Customer Energy Solutions by 12 MW, bringing the total savings to nearly 660 MW since 2007. In addition, through the utility Customer Assistance Program, qualifying customers received an average monthly savings of $66 on their total utility bill.
- Attained top-tier ranking in large commercial and industrial satisfaction scores, as measured by E Source.
- Successfully completed the process to become the first 3-1-1 center in the country to achieve ISO 9001:2015 certification. The certification means that the Austin 3-1-1 met international quality standards.
Helping Hurricane Recovery
Responded to approximately 79,000 customer outages in the Austin area due to Tropical Storm Harvey, then supplied crews to aid in the restoration of power from the devastation caused by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico.
- Utility of the Year – SmartCitiesDIVE
- Finalist in the Cities4Energy category – 2017 C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards
- ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Energy Efficiency Program Delivery Award
- Austin Green Award for Austin Energy’s Electric Drive
- SolSmart Gold Designation and Special Recognition Award – Market Development an Finance
- First in Renewable Energy Sales for GreenChoice® Program – National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- Tom Hughston Stop Shock Safety Award – Southwest Electric Safety Exchange
- Best Overall Campaign for Non-Investor-Owned Utility – Be a Wind Fan, E Source Utility Ad Award
- Best Event/Experiential Marketing – Electric Drive, E Source Utility Ad Award
Austin Resource Recovery
Works toward achieving Zero Waste by providing excellent customer services that promote waste reduction and increased and increased resource recovery while supporting the City of Austin's sustainability efforts.
- Deployed 19 Litter Abatement and Collections staff to Houston who collected more than 2,400 tons of debris across 25 days to assist in the clean-up from Hurricane Harvey.
- Collected more than 1,100 tons of storm debris during Hurricane Harvey clean-up in Austin, which was a result of the 1,682 customer service calls, an increase of 478% from the prior year.
- Launched the first phase of the Curbside Composting program to 38,000 homes, and presented service information, recycling, and composting education at almost 100 community outreach and educational events to support the launch.
- Collected over 1.25 million pounds of trash during South by Southwest.
- Hosted Feeding the 5,000, the first food waste awareness event of its kind in Texas. Resource Recovery and partners served more than 3,000 free meals made entirely from food that otherwise would have been wasted.
- Launched the Austin Reuse Directory with the Austin Eco Network, a comprehensive online directory of local donation and resale options for reusable items.
- Recruited volunteers for the Zero Waste Block Leader program to grow to more than 200 volunteers who regularly educate neighbors about Zero Waste and ARR services, focusing on recycling and composting.
- Received a Lone Star Regional Emmy for the Shop Zero Waste video series along with ATXN. The series highlighted local businesses and non-profits that sell secondhand or recycled goods, or offer repair and sharing services.
- Received the National Community Improvement Award from Keep America Beautiful for the Austin Recycles Games, the popular citywide recycling competition between Austin’s 10 City Council districts.
- Awarded EPA grant: 2017 Hazardous and Petroleum Assessment.
Small & Minority Business Resources Department
Small & Minority Business Resources (SMBR) administers the Minority-Owned Business Enterprise and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Procurement Program as well as the federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) programs and provide development opportunities and resources for small and minority-owned businesses so that they can have affirmative access to City procurement opportunities and show productive growth.
- Collaborated with Travis County, Austin Independent School District, and Austin Community College District to host the first Central Texas Small Business Partnership Conference. The conference provided a networking and outreach event with 143 attendees.
- 93% of all solicitations reviewed met the MBE/WBE Goals.
- 85% of all solicitations were compliant with the MBE/WBE Program Ordinances.
- Hosted our 12th Annual Diversity in Contracting – Contractors and Consultants Appreciation Event. This annual reception was created as a recommendation of the African American Quality of Life Initiative. At the event, SMBR recognizes a Prime Contractor and Consultant of the Year, four minority- and women-owned small businesses, a City department and a city employee/workgroup as MBE/WBE Advocate of the Year.
- Surveyed workshop attendees reported being satisfied with SMBR’s level of service at least 97% of the time.
- Certified 195 new firms as Minority-Owned, Women-Owned and/or Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (MBE/WBE/DBE.)
- Assisted 311 business owners visiting the Plan Room with access to construction plans and specifications.
Provides safe, reliable, high-quality, sustainable and affordable water services to its customers.
- Achieved a 0% rate increase for FY2018. This is the first time in 15 years there has been no rate increase for customers.
- Invested more than $80 million in our Capital Improvement Program at various water and wastewater treatment and pumping facilities, including rehabilitation and upgrades to aging infrastructure.
- Conducted leak detection and condition assessments for over 700 miles of water mains.
- Rehabilitated or replaced over 10 miles of water mains and seven miles of sewer lines.
- Connected the 100th customer to our Reclaimed Water System.
- Conserved 1.375 billion gallons of drinking water (enough for 5,600 Austin households) by providing reclaimed water services.
- Reached a record 6.05 million gallons of reclaimed water provided to bulk filling station customers.
- National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) Gold Level Peak Performance Award for Walnut Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant
- National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) Silver Level Peak Performance Award for South Austin Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant