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Council Considering AE Settlement [UPDATE]
Agreement would cut overall utility rates by $42.5 million
DAILY News  August 29, 2016, by Michael King
"...In a special-called noon work session today, City Council is poised to approve a settlement recommendation between Austin Energy and 20 stakeholders – from major commercial customers to environmental advocacy groups – that would result in $42.5 million in cuts to AE rates...."

AE's Coal Conundrum
Energy planners and the fight over Fayette
News Story  November 20, 2009, by Nora Ankrum
"...Admittedly, those figures should soon change for the better. AE is nearly finished installing "SO2 scrubbers," which are expected to take a big bite out of its sulfur dioxide emissions – good news for Austin, just 60 miles downwind..."

Cole Hosts AE Forum at ACC
Panel discusses rate proposal, consequences, possible alternatives
DAILY News  January 28, 2012, by Michael King
"...She reminded the audience (perhaps 75 people at its peak) of the importance of a public utility, and the potential loss of the municipal utility if its finances can't be stabilized. (Interference from the Lege was never quite explicit, but that's the storm looming if the city can't get AE's house in order, or if the threats of deregulation from conservative pols are finally realized.)..."

APD Pot-Hunters Are Data-Mining at AE
Are you using 'too much' energy? Inquiring drug cops want to know.
News Story  November 16, 2007, by Jordan Smith
"...However, the court records do reflect – and city utility documents appear to confirm – that the manner in which Austin police developed a case against Colby, and against at least three other persons, was questionable and possibly based on an illegal search. Colby's lawyer, David Dudley, argues that APD Detective Jeff Haynes used energy-consumption information from thousands of Austin Energy customers – without those customers' knowledge or consent – in an effort to find and focus upon AE customers who, in Haynes' opinion, regularly consume more kilowatt-hours than he believed "typical" for the size of their residence..."

AE's Nuclear Option
The seduction of the South Texas Project
News Story  January 21, 2011, by Nora Ankrum
"...Last summer, when Pedernales Electric Cooperative ousted general manager Juan Garza, some onlookers – many of them environmentalists – thought what was bad news for Garza might prove good news for Austin Energy, then in search of a new GM to replace the retired Roger Duncan. City Coun­cil Member Bill Spelman suggested including Garza as a last-minute candidate, and Duncan himself put in a good word for the former PEC head, who had in fact held AE's general manager position once before, prior to his tenure at the scandal-plagued electricity cooperative..."

The Rich, the Poor, and the AE Generation Plan
Social service groups weigh in on Austin Energy's generation plan
News Story  December 25, 2009, by Nora Ankrum
"...Announced in August, the plan recommended by Austin Energy staff succeeds in fulfilling the expectations of the Austin Climate Protec­tion Plan, even surpassing them on many counts. But in these harsh economic times, that good news has been somewhat overshadowed by concerns over the plan's financial implications, especially for AE's most vulnerable customers – low-income ratepayers...."

Cool Cities: AE Task Force
Austin Energy moves one step closer to a generation plan
News Story  November 13, 2009, by Nora Ankrum
"...1, a plan that would completely ramp down the Fayette coal plant by 2014. The remaining five members provided the majority vote to support the (unnumbered) generation mix AE had recommended in August, but with a proviso that AE "review the plan in two years with the target of accelerating the phase down of Fayette plant and toward its eventual closure by 2020 if economically and technologically feasible."..."

AE Rate Proposal Double-Edged
Ratepayers expense also city income
DAILY News  February 6, 2012, by Michael King
"...At a minimum, the latest shift in AE's proposal will take time to review and debate, and Mayor Lee Leffingwell in particular expressed doubt that Council could meet AE's recommended timeline of a March approval. Much of that uncertainty was echoed in the Jan..."

AE 2020 Plan
Duncan's last stand
News Story  February 26, 2010, by Nora Ankrum
"...As such, council has held off on making a decision, and the mayor organized Monday's panel discussion to provide yet another opportunity for all to have their say. In the interim, Duncan seemed to have strengthened his defense of AE's plan..."

Sun Rises (Finally) for AE
The utility's $5 / watt solar rebate program is – this time for sure – ready to go
News Story  May 28, 2004, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...30. AE and solar industry firms had claimed the program could be ready to go as early as April 1, but, well, it wasn't..."

Then There's This: AE: The Plot Thickens
City manager and consumer advocates finally agree on something
News Column  December 14, 2012, by Amy Smith
"...Ott's position is in rare alignment with consumer advocates, who last week urged Council not to head down the restructuring path. Ironically, advocacy reps had spent the better part of last year blaming the city manager and AE officials for bungling a contentious, high-profile rate case, which in turn caught the attention of the Legislature and ignited talks of restructuring..."

AE Finalists: California Dreamin'
Greens question the need for Golden Staters
News Story  June 25, 2010, by Nora Ankrum
"...Last week, when the city announced three finalists in the running for general manager of Austin Energy, the list was less notable for who was on it (no one had heard of Ronald Davis, Larry Weis, or David Wright) than for who wasn't: Karl Rábago, AE's vice president of distributed energy services. A collective groan was heard among local environmentalists who had hopes that Rábago – whose local, state, and national experience make him a green "rock star," as Robin Rather has put it – would succeed the retired Roger Duncan..."

AE's Solar Deal: 'Game Changer'
Recurrent Energy price could lower energy rates
News Story  July 3, 2014, by Nora Ankrum
"...Despite the common solar-industry mantra that "prices are coming down," it nonetheless came as a surprise in May when Austin Energy secured a solar power purchase agreement with Recurrent Energy for less than 5 cents per kilowatt hour. AE had seemingly leapt into the future..."

The Flickering Search for an AE Chief
How many stakeholders does it take to screw in a light bulb?
News Story  July 2, 2010, by Nora Ankrum
"...First, there was grumbling over who wasn't on the list, most notably AE's vice president of distributed energy services, Karl Rábago, heavily favored by the environmental community (see "AE Finalists: California Dreamin'," June 25). Then, recently retired GM Roger Duncan leapt into the fray to urge consideration of his former boss Juan Garza, who preceded Duncan as AE's general manager and was suddenly available to take the job back, having been freshly fired from the same position at the Pedernales Electric Coop­er­ative..."

AE Programs for Those in Need
AE provides discounts, emergency assistance, free weatherization, and other programs for Austin's low-income ratepayers
News Story  December 25, 2009, by Nora Ankrum
"...• Monthly Discounts for Qualifying House­holds: AE offers a waiver on customer charges for electricity, water, and wastewater; a 50% drainage fee reduction; and a reduced fuel charge, from 3.65 cents to 1.7 cents. At the average monthly residential use of 1,000 kilowatt hours, these discounts altogether amount to about $43 a month, or more than $500 a year...."

Then There's This – Poor People to AE: We're Not Deadbeats
New ordinance gives needy ratepayers a payment plan they can work with
News Column  December 13, 2013, by Amy Smith
"...With some nudging from City Hall, AE assembled a citizen steering committee to draw up new policy for the long term. In the short term, Council Member Kathie Tovo took the lead in developing what she called a "stop-gap" ordinance (with drafting assistance from Bierdzycki), which went into effect immediately upon passage..."

AE GM Search
Everyone wants face time with the candidates
News Story  July 9, 2010, by Nora Ankrum
"...Instead, the city gave them the chance to interview each candidate for up to 90 minutes and to brief city staff on their thoughts afterward. The city arranged a similar meeting for representatives from the business community later in the day (July 1), on top of three other interviews originally planned – two for city officials (one with executives, another with AE staff) and a third with relevant board and commission members – bringing the grand, grueling total to five..."

The AE Generation Plan's Latest Monkey Wrench
Spooky, scary: Will rumors of deregulation derail Austin Energy's plan?
News Story  January 29, 2010, by Nora Ankrum
"...28), City Council discusses Austin Energy's 2020 generation plan proposal, hoping to establish the right mix of traditional and renewable energy resources to power Austin's homes and businesses through the next decade. Despite nearly two years of deliberation on the plan – and support for AE's proposal from the Electric Utility Commission, the Resource Management Com­mis­sion, and the Austin Generation Resource Planning Task Force – council is unlikely to be making any quick decisions..."

Should AE Retire Fayette Coal Plant ... This Decade?
News Story  November 20, 2009, by Nora Ankrum
"...Here are some of the arguments that have been made for and against retiring (or selling) the Fayette Power Project, though some (marked with *) are relevant more specifically to plans that have been proposed to retire the plant sooner rather than later. Note: Supporters of retiring Fayette are not necessarily the same group as the supporters of selling it, though there may be overlap; the same can be said of the opponents. Should AE Retire FPP by 2020?..."

AE & Plug-In Hybrids: Power Coming and Going
Electric cars could both run clean and boost our power supply
News Story  May 25, 2007, by Richard Whittaker
"...In 2003, Austin Energy deputy general manager Roger Duncan was asked by Mayor Will Wynn to find innovative ways to make Austin greener. At the time, AE was struggling over how to manage West Texas wind power..."

Then There's This: Too Much Heartburn Over AE 'Governance'
Council appoints itself to a committee to study utility oversight
News Column  May 31, 2013, by Amy Smith
"...Earlier last week, the mayor decided to postpone indefinitely the original proposal to grant a nonpolitical board sovereign powers over AE, but he resisted deep-sixing it altogether, even though it doesn't appear to be going anywhere. Meanwhile, Chris Riley, with Mike Martinez and Laura Morrison, moved ahead with a new proposal to create a council subcommittee to study the governance question...."

AE's Long Road to Reducing Emissions
AE's generation plan doesn't please all
News Story  October 23, 2009, by Katherine Gregor
"...At a Tuesday community meeting on Austin Energy's new Resource & Climate Protection Plan, Karl R. Rábago, AE vice president of distributed energy services, pitched the importance of long-range cost benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions..."

Council: Who Rules AE?
Austin Energy governance is the big item on this week's agenda
News Story  April 12, 2013, by Michael King
"...Beyond that AE matter – and it remains a doozy – there doesn't appear to be a great deal of heavy lifting waiting on the 85-item agenda. Council had an abbreviated work session (Google calling!) and spent most of it discussing a proposal from Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Council Member Chris Riley to rewrite the demolition permit ordinance to allow more flexibility – they say the ordinance sometimes works, paradoxically, to rush demolitions before they're necessary..."

Council Preview: Who Rules AE?
Tomorrow's headline matter is Austin Energy governance
DAILY News  April 10, 2013, by Michael King
"...Beyond that AE matter –- and it remains a doozy -– there doesn’t appear to be a great deal of heavy lifting on the 85-item agenda. Council spent its abbreviated work session (Google calling!) mostly discussing a proposal (Item 36) from Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Council Member Chris Riley to rewrite the demolition permit ordinance to allow more flexibility – they say the ordinance sometimes works, paradoxically, to rush demolitions before they’re necessary..."

Then There's This: AE and the Lege
City officials planning for the worst, hoping for the best
News Column  July 20, 2012, by Amy Smith
"...That's like asking why Hummer owners should have to pay more for gas. Also, didn't they know their electricity would come from city-owned Austin Energy before they closed on their homes? At the same time, Brown and other critics have raised some valid questions about how the city spends the revenue transferred from AE to the general fund..."

AE Rate Hike Opponents Say 'Do It Over'
Opponents say Austin Energy's proposal is 'upside-down and backwards'
News Story  October 28, 2011, by Amy Smith
"...The case is expected to go to City Coun­cil for a briefing in December, followed by a series of public hearings early next year. But Public Citizen's Tom "Smitty" Smith urged council members to reject the package outright by directing AE "to go back to the drawing board and do this rate case over." He said the large industrial customers, whose rates are locked in until 2015, will be getting cheaper rates at the expense of residential customers and small businesses...."

A Glimpse at AE's GM Candidates
How might these Californians take on Austin's challenges?
News Story  July 2, 2010, by Nora Ankrum
"...(A third finalist, Ronald Davis of Burbank, Calif., has dropped out of the running.) On Wednesday, Weis and Wright were in town to meet with city officials and were expected to speak at a public forum in the evening. For those who missed the visit, here are some of the candidates' thoughts on how their experiences might shape AE's future. Larry Weis Turlock Irrigation District, Turlock, Calif...."

AE Defends Biomass Plant
Biomass likely to go forward despite some public opposition
News Story  August 29, 2008, by Daniel Mottola
"...AE Chief Operating Officer Mike McClus­key on Tuesday addressed criticisms over the haste with which the deal was introduced to the public (first appearing on an Aug. 7 council agenda)..."

Settlement Pending in AE Rate Case
Details Few -- City Council posted for Friday consideration
DAILY News  February 26, 2013, by Mike Kanin
"...Some of these contained detailed criticisms from HURF, PUC staff, and a state-level consumer agency called the Office of Public Utility Counsel. Those groups attacked AE’s ratemaking and questioned its stated revenue requirements...."

Council Notes: All About AE?
This week, the Council takes on urban density, grandfathering, and parking
News Story  March 22, 2013, by Michael King


Council Approves AE Settlement
Utility gives up $5.75 million; keeps everything else
DAILY News  March 1, 2013, by Amy Smith


AE Rate Gate
Shockingly, nobody wants to pay more for electricity
DAILY News  January 13, 2012, by Amy Smith


AE Generation Plan Forum Tonight
Come, talk, text
DAILY News  February 22, 2010, by Katherine Gregor


Bachna Ae Haseeno
New Bollywood romance.
Film Review  August 15, 2008, by Marjorie Baumgarten


Naked City
Austin Energy gives clean-energy advocates what they want -- and far more.
News Story  December 5, 2003, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...In a near-complete turnaround from its public position just a week ago, Austin Energy has announced plans to adopt specific, highly ambitious, and undeniably expensive goals for adding solar energy to the Austin electric and economic mix. At a town hall meeting held Tuesday night to discuss the AE plan -- also the subject of a public hearing at City Council today (Thursday) -- AE's Roger Duncan announced the utility's commitment to develop 15 megawatts of solar generating capacity by 2007, escalating to 100 megawatts by 2020..."

Then There's This: Clouds Over Solar
Is AE throwing shade at sun-powered energy?
News Column  January 10, 2014, by Amy Smith
"...The utility based its decision on an analysis by California-based Clean Power Research – the same consulting firm that developed the more favorable value of solar rate that Council adopted in 2012 as part of a new rate design package. While AE says the firm's recommendation was driven mainly by reduced natural gas prices, environmental and consumer advocates, led by Public Citizen, don't believe it was based on accurate or complete data..."

Naked City
New wind-power customers would still pay a premium for GreenChoice.
News Story  January 9, 2004, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...The cost of wind power is going down -- to the point where it's as cheap as natural gas (whose price is going up) as an electricity source, or even cheaper. But Austin Energy is asking the City Council today (Thursday) to approve a higher price for new customers for AE's GreenChoice program -- an ironic testament to the program's success and the growing perception of the value of renewable energy...."

Point Austin: Electric Lessons
Beneath the AE rate debate stands the strong ground of public process
News Column  June 15, 2012, by Michael King
"...Arguably, the plan council settled on after weeks of work sessions and public discussion – and oh yes, an election campaign – is essentially the tribute politics is paying to inflation since 1994. It raises rates not nearly as dramatically as AE staff had proposed, but with the anticipation of another increase in two years and more frequent rate reviews, it creates a new tier system that should both encourage conservation and protect customers at the lower tiers of usage (and presumably income); it also expands the existing aid program for low-income citizens who need it...."

Point Austin: Electric Shock
Austin Energy's 'regressive' proposed rate increase brings out little guys and their advocates
News Column  September 23, 2011, by Amy Smith
"...It's been 17 years since AE has sought a rate increase, so at first blush, asking customers to pay more for electricity sounds entirely reasonable. But under the current proposal, residential ratepayers who use the lowest amount of electricity would end up paying the largest rate increase..."

Lady Vengeance
The South Korean master of revenge dramas, Park Chan-wook, offers another entertaining puzzle of emotional nuance, riotous color, and bloody hell.
starstarstarstar
Film Review  June 30, 2006, by Marc Savlov
"...Directed by: Park Chan-wook. Starring: Lee Yeong-ae, Choi Min-sik, Go Su-hee and Lee Seung-shin..."

The Pecan Street Project
Austin and AE form high tech partnership for the next big challenge in clean energy
News Story  October 3, 2008, by Katherine Gregor
"...Spearheading the project is Mayor Pro Tem Brewster McCracken, backed by Austin Ener­gy General Manager Roger Duncan. (The City Council serves as AE's board of directors, and the mayor is board chair; it should not go unnoticed that McCracken is a presumptive mayoral candidate for May 2009.) Joining McCracken in sponsoring the council resolution were Randi Shade and Laura Morrison, the other members of the Coun­cil Committee for Emerging Tech­no­lo­gies and Telecommunications...."

Profitable, but Clean
AE's Duncan pushes for new power paradigm
News Story  May 25, 2007, by Daniel Mottola
"...But Duncan is most emphatic about the energy-storage possibilities presented as more automobiles can be plugged in to the electric grid. The abundant battery capacity of plug-in hybrid autos – ideally fueled with renewable energy and even on-site wind or solar generators – can not only achieve extended zero-emissions driving, but also power one's home once plugged in, or help support the overall grid, Duncan said (see "AE & Plug-In Hybrids," p.35)..."

Public Forum Tonight: Austin Energy GM Candidates
Much rides on the decision over who will be the utility's next boss
DAILY News  June 30, 2010, by Nora Ankrum
"...Tonight may be your only chance to see the Austin Energy general manager candidates up close and personal before the city decides who gets AE's top job...."

A Council’s Work Is Never Done
Agenda features budget, the future of AE, and a whole lotta housing
News Story  August 17, 2017, by Michael King
"...• The Future of AE: The public hearing on the Austin Energy Resource, Generation and Climate Protection Plan closed last week ("With All Deliberate Speed," Aug. 14), but now the dais needs to wrestle with just how aggressive the utility's overall planning goals need to be..."

More Charter School Stats
News Story  April 4, 2003
"...Of these, only 94 were rated in the same manner as typical Texas schools. Exemplary:15 Recognized:9 Acceptable:31 Low Performing:39 Another 24 were not rated because they are new (16), have insufficient data (seven), or in one case, serve kindergarten and pre-K only. Another 112 "applied and were identified as eligible to be evaluated under alternative-education procedures" and are thus rated as follows: AE: Commended: 3 AE: Acceptable: 53 AE: Needs Peer Review: 50 (This is the equivalent of Low Performing in the standard rankings.) AE: Not Rated: 6..."

Pioneers or Settlers?
Balancing renewables and affordability at AE
News Story  January 15, 2015, by Nora Ankrum
"...Last summer, the Austin Generation Resource Planning Task Force issued a bold recommendation to Austin Energy, the city's municipally owned utility. Charged with the task of translating stakeholder input into viable guidelines for meeting climate plan goals and updating AE's generation plan, the appointed citizen group concluded that solar power should be AE's "default new generation resource through 2024."..."

Twisting in the Wind
Austin Energy is trying to find the right price for renewable energy – but that's much easier said than done
News Story  August 21, 2009, by Nora Ankrum
"...According to the U.S. Department of Energy, AE's highly esteemed GreenChoice program is ranked No..."

Total Utility
The pain and politics of raising electric rates as a means of controlling our destiny
News Story  June 15, 2012, by Mike Kanin
"...Austin Independent School District Superintendent Meria Carstarphen and AISD General Coun­sel Mel­ Waxler had worried the rate increase would offer similar challenges to schools. Yet here they were to support the new proposal – and a rate increase that could return AE to relative solvency...."

Austin Energy Wins Round One
Austin Energy fends off rate case with only minor loss
News Story  March 8, 2013, by Mike Kanin
"...Three days before the public hearing was scheduled to begin (with a preliminary session Friday morning), whispers began about a potential settlement. By Thursday's Coun­cil meeting, everyone was ready to hear the details of what the averted crisis was going to cost AE; the term sheet only became available late Friday morning, just before Council members approved the settlement in that form..."

Savings or Slush?
In a tight budget year, Austin Energy's debt management fund is under scrutiny.
News Story  August 23, 2002, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...And even if the $183 million were gathering dust, we shouldn't rely on it to bridge the gaps in the budget. All arguments that may carry this round -- but which won't forever quash the questions born of the complicated relationship between Austin Energy, City Hall, and the citizens.Waiting on Dereg What Robbins calls the "slush fund" is Austin Energy's Debt Management Fund, created to house "excess electric utility cash" by the City Council in December 1996, as part of its major push to get AE ready for the new era of electric deregulation..."

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