HURF Petition FAQ

Click to view this page as a PDF.

We only have until the end of July to get 3000 signatures. You can help!

  1. Click here to sign the petition and get instructions for the Steiner Ranch area.
  2. Click here to canvass a neighborhood for signatures in or around Steiner Ranch.

Why Sign The Petition?

In Short: The HURF Petition will allow the Public Utility Commission of Texas to review Austin Energy’s new rate structure in the light of concerns raised by HURF about unfair pricing practices.

Look at under “You Need to Know” pulldown to learn much more.

Read Dick Brown’s recent article in the Statesman explaining HURF’s position, then read more below and follow some of the links to learn more.

On June 7th the Austin City Council unanimously approved a new rate plan for Austin Energy that will result in steep increases for Steiner Ranch and other suburban residents. Most Steiner area residents are likely to see an average rate increases of 20+%, well above the average for Austin. These rates do not treat Steiner residents fairly – but, we can do something about it. By signing a petition your household signature can help ensure that the Texas Public Utility Commission is charged with reviewing Austin Energy’s new rate structure, giving us a good chance for rates which are fair and significantly lower.

The steep increase for most suburban customers is due in large part to a progressive rate structure that shifts the burden of the rate increases to specific customer classes including those in larger then average homes. Under this new rate structure, most Steiner residents will be paying far above the cost of service and will subsidize other Austin ratepayers who will benefit from below cost of service rates. On top of this, Austin City Council has elected to continue the annual transfer of 15% of energy revenues to the City of Austin for general city uses – as captive out of city energy customers this hidden tax constitutes “taxation without representation”.

By signing the petition we not only enable a rate review from the PUC, but we also send a signal to the City of Austin that suburban customers are not content being taken advantage of.

Learn more by following the rate protest on facebook:
Also you may want to review the following PDF documents:

HURF Austin Energy Petition – FAQ’s

1) Q; Why sign this petition?
A: With the signatures of only 3,000 suburban households, we can make Austin Energy (AE) defend its unfair and excessive rate hike before the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT). PUCT has the power to direct AE to remove excessive costs and correct unfair pricing practices in its recent rate hike. This means suburban customers can achieve lower, more equitable electricity rates.
2) Q: What is HURF?
A: HURF stands for Homeowners United for Rate Fairness. We are a grass roots citizens organization representing the rights of suburban Austin Energy customers. HURF is a Texas registerd 501(c) 4 non-profit corporation. Find out more at
3) Q: Why does HURF oppose Austin Energy’s new electric rates?
A: AE’s new rates are excessive. In a time when electricity is getting cheaper all over Texas, AE wants to raise suburban electric bills 20% or more! That’s on top of increases totaling 15% since 2008. And the main driver of higher rates is that the City of Austin takes $150 Million or more a year from AE for non-utility purposes. It’s Taxation Without Representation.
4) Q: Who can sign the petition?
A: One adult member of every household that uses Austin Energy may sign, provided that household is located outside the City of Austin.
5) Q: How do I get my signed petition back to HURF?
A: Find information on where you can take your petition, Steiner Area:, Outside Steiner:, or FAX your completed form to 512-727-9161. You do not have to have any more than 1 signature per page, but we’d love you to get a few friends to sign it too before you send it in!
6) Q: Why is HURF asking for donations? Where will the money go?
A: Obviously HURF has some expenses for gathering the required signatures. But the real expenses start after our petition is accepted by the PUCT. We will need several hundred thousand dollars for lawyers and utility rate experts to make sure that our case prevails at the PUCT. However, the annual savings for suburban customers could easily amount to tens of millions of dollars. If you need more info on our budget, contact us via


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