Energy

We represent the area between Lake Travis and Lake Austin from Mansfield Dam to Steiner Ranch Boulevard. If you live or do business here, please support us by becoming a member. We are tackling issues different than those dealt with by your HOA and we are dependent on your membership to be successful.

SRNA Energy Primary contacts: SRNA chairman: Brian Thompto; SRNA Services Committee chair: Brian Clifton; HURF Executive Director: Mark Farrar;
Questions or suggestions about energy policy? Contact us.
To learn more about HURF, visit their web site: www.hurf.org

Recent Updates:
*** March 3, 2013 – City of Austin Council reaches tentative agreement with HURF.
Great news from HURF – who has successfully taken our battle for fair energy rates to the PUC – the tentative agreement with Austin City Council will give us 3 three-tier rate structure out of the city and result in significant savings on Steiner area electric bills by reducing rates and reducing subsides to the city.
Details are available at the City of Austin website.

*** January, 2013 – A message from HURF Executive Director Mark Farrar to the greater Steiner Ranch community.
STATE AGENCY HEARING SUBURBS’ CASE FOR LOWER ELECTRIC RATES

You probably noticed that your electric bill got bigger and more complicated starting in October. If you compared that bill to the previous October, a typical Steiner household would likely have seen a 15-20% or more increase. Meanwhile, across most of Texas, people are seeing their electric bills fall, along with the decrease in the cost of natural gas.

The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) is currently hearing the case brought by Homeowners United for Rate Fairness (HURF) to roll-back Austin Energy’s enormous October 1 electric rate increase. This past summer, the Steiner Ranch Neighborhood Association (SRNA) and HURF worked hand in hand to gather signatures from almost one third of Steiner households. Across the suburbs, HURF gathered twice the number of signatures required to force this case at the PUC. This is an historic opportunity to either reduce Austin Energy’s rates or else live with them for years to come.

The process at the PUC began officially in December, and will extend thru the middle of June. HURF has hired lawyers and utility experts to show the PUC why Austin Energy’s huge rate hike is unjustified. We believe we are presenting a strong case for why suburban electric rates need to be significantly reduced, and the five-tier rate structure scrapped. In the likelihood that we prevail, Austin Energy will have to reduce its rates and refund the increases it began charging October 1.

HURF urgently needs your financial support to pay the experts needed to probe Austin Energy’s books, ask the tough questions, and present a compelling case. The outcome could save you thousands of dollars in electric bills. Please give today at www.hurf.org.

*** September 8, 2012 – HURF Energy Petition Not Challenged
Today Austin Energy informed the Public Utility Commission that it will not challenge HURF’s petition to the PUC. Now it is in the hands of the PUC. We’ll keep you posted.
Austin Energy and HURF petition

*** HURF Energy Petition Update – August 8, 2012
Thank you for all your efforts to help the HURF Energy Petition. With your support and a tremendous final push, HURF was able to blast through the minimum required signatures – turning in a total of about 5000 signatures from suburban Austin households.

The greater Steiner Ranch area played a huge roll in this success. With about 1/3 of our households signing the petition, we delivered the highest participation rate and largest overall number of signatures from any community.

Congratulations on this accomplishment ! A special thanks to all those who put in the extra effort to help collect signatures from your friends and neighbors.

PUC Documents related to HURF Petition

You can view documents submitted as part of the HURF petition case here.

Austin Energy and Rate Changes Impacting our Area:

In the summer of 2012, SRNA joined up with HURF (Homeowners United for Rate Fairness) and other neighborhoods to sign a petition that challenged the rate increases planned by Austin Energy. SRNA representatives went to City of Austin Council meetings to raise concerns regarding the new energy rates and then worked closely with HURF to ensure the petition campaign was a success – rallying Steiner area residents to the cause.

Petition Background

On June 7th, 2012 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.

More energy petition information can be found here (click).

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