HURF Petition Meets Minimum Signature Requirements to Appeal Austin Energy Rate Increase
According to Homeowners United For Rate Fairness (HURF), a nonprofit association representing out-of-city Austin Energy ratepayers, more than 5,000 signatures of suburban customers were filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC), calling for the agency to review the rates and management practices of the city’s electric utility.
Under state law, a rate increase by a municipal electric utility can be appealed to the commission if requested by five percent of the utility’s residential ratepayers outside the city. For Austin Energy, the signatures of about 2,500 out-of-city customers is necessary to compel the City of Austin to justify the utility’s rates and policies to the commission. In June, the city council approved the biggest rate increase in the history of Austin Energy.
Mark Farrar, executive director of HURF, said the organization’s filing asks the PUC to examine the legality of the city’s use of the electric utility to impose a de facto tax on outside ratepayers, and force them to pay tens of millions of dollars for municipal services that solely benefit Austin residents.
Pursuant to PUC rules, Austin has 30 days to verify the authenticity of the petitions and signatures filed by HURF. Farrar said he was confident that HURF’s submission would comply with all applicable requirements.
Please note that the City of Lakeway is not affiliated with HURF, and does not endorse HURF or its position on this or any other issue.
For more information about the appeal and Homeowners United For Rate Fairness (HURF) visit online.
Read the effect of the City of Austin’s decision on each class of ratepayer