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Austin Energy Under the Spotlight at City Council Meeting Today

AEthermostat.pyxopotamus.jpg
Photo courtesy flickr.com/pyxopotamus
Don't touch that dial: City Council will discuss Austin Energy's proposed rate increases and billing errors today.

The Austin City Council convenes in a special-called meeting today to take up – what else? – Austin Energy’s proposed rate increases.

Three topics were initially on the council agenda – discussion of the rate proposal, scheduling an additional work session to discuss rates again, and action directing the City Auditor to “conduct a review of Austin Energy's revenue requirement.” Posited as one of the rate increase’s main drivers, council members have questioned the amount of money the city-owned utility says it needs to replenish its reserves.

If that’s not enough, the utility is facing questions on another front:  A late posting to today’s agenda calls for an 11:30 a.m. presentation on AE’s “customer care and billing system.” Recent reports have highlighted a large amount of errors on the utility’s part, as they implement a new customer billing system; the utility has blamed computer giant IBM, which is installing the new system, a charge the Austin American-Statesman says the company doesn’t dispute.

City Council meets at City Hall today, starting at 10 a.m. The meeting can also be streamed on the city’s website

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