City Council approves plan reducing Austin Energy rate

Thanks to a joint agreement between at least 20 parties, Austin Energy found itself in a position to be able to cut rates by $42.5 million.

They came up with a plan with cuts focused on businesses, who were paying huge energy bills, like retail, restaurants, hotels and office buildings.  But the plan was for residents to see a rate reduction too. Austin Energy had proposed a plan where those that used the lowest amount of energy would actually see a rate increase.

Council didn't like that idea last week they told them to go back to the drawing board and move some money around to figure out a way where everyone would get some relief. That's what Austin Energy came back with today.  With a unanimous vote on the dais, Council approved the plan. Customers will start seeing the savings next year.

"When we have money that is not necessary to run our operation, we can reduce rates for our customers," said Robert Cullick with Austin Energy.

"We did it at such a level that I anticipate when we go through the budget process over the next few weeks consumers in this city will see an overall decrease in their combined community utility bills both electric and water," said Mayor Steve Adler.

Something not everyone is happy about though, Austin Energy says they're phasing out the "House of Worship" discount for churches over four years. As FOX 7 has previously reported, before some local pastors believe they'll have to cut some services or programs because of that.