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Austin Energy wants to raise its rates. Here's how you can give feedback.

A row of electricity meters
Gabriel C. Pérez

Lee esta historia en español.

Residential customers could see a nearly $16 bump in their monthly electric bills under a rate hike proposed by Austin Energy. But before it can raise base rates, the city-owned utility must first go through a public input process.

Austin Energy says it needs to bridge a $48 million gap between its costs and revenue. In its proposal, it suggests a 7.6% rate hike, though commercial and residential customers could see that increase reflected differently on their bills.

Austin Energy says a "typical residential" user would see an increase of $15.56 a month. It insists the rate hike is not attributable to last year's historic winter storm — one in which the utility made money by putting its excess energy back on Texas' beleaguered energy grid.

The utility said Tuesday the increase "will help Austin Energy better recover its costs while continuing to provide value to the community."

For the next few months, Austin Energy customers will be able to provide feedback online. Then a third-party examiner will shepherd the negotiations and present the findings to city officials and eventually to City Council.

Council members will vote on the rate in the fall, and it will go into effect in January.

You can learn more about the public input process at Austin Energy's website. The utility is also holding a handful of in-person and online public input meetings:

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
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