A Brighter Idea?

Morrison and Tovo propose smaller rate increase

A Brighter Idea?

Everybody has something to say about Austin Energy's proposed rate increase, and our elected officials are no exception. First Mayor Lee Leffingwell posted a blog against the 12% hike, then Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole held a community forum about it, and now Council Members Laura Morrison and Kathie Tovo have a plan that might buy everyone some more time.

The two council members are proposing a 3.5% system-wide rate increase as a temporary one-year replacement for the current proposal. They say the interim arrangement would provide a little financial cushion for the cash-strapped utility while AE tries to come up with a new rate plan that won't create severe hardships for residents, small businesses, and houses of worship.

Morrison and Tovo's proposal would also do away with the utility's most recent bright idea of giving a 6.1% discount to customers outside the city limits. We'll see how that one flies with the Austin-bashers at the Capitol.

Meanwhile, start sealing those darned ducts.

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