The Austin Chronicle

Another Way to Squeeze the Customer

RECEIVED Thu., Jan. 9, 2014

Dear Editor,
    Regarding "Then There's This: Clouds Over Solar," [News, Jan. 10]: Debbie Kimberly's letter to solar customers said that the value of solar was being lowered due to reduced value of energy factors like lower natural gas prices. I don't remember any notice from AE or news stories, but in October of 2013, Austin Energy increased the power supply adjustment from $0.03372 to $0.03709 per kilowatt-hour. This doesn't seem like much, but for someone averaging 1000 kwh per month it amounts to an increase of $3.37, or $40.44 per year. The power supply adjustment affects all customers, not just solar customers. So AE is saying to everyone that the cost of energy is increasing, but for solar customers it is decreasing. Which is it?
    As far as zeroing solar customers' accounts if a credit exists: Why is that necessary anyway, as AE will never send a check? Zeroing it in January will almost certainly mean paying something in February, as January is a poor month for solar production. Just another way to squeeze the customer.
Jerry Whiteaker

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