(Community Matters) I’ve never spent much time understanding the economics of Austin Energy – know our mayor plans to do so. It’s important that our city utilities are positioned to respond to market realities and continue best serving Austin residents & other customers. I certainly don’t oppose the equivalent of dividend transfers and believe transparent allocations are the prerogative of the council & city manager – just not sure there is transparency nor that we’re not handicapping the utilities.
Explainer: The Austin Energy-CoA funds transfer
The Explainer takes a deeper look at stories we have been following. This week, we tackle the annual transfer from Austin Energy to the City of Austin’s General Fund.
The annual transfer of what has historically been many millions of dollars in cash from the coffers of Austin Energy to those just across the river at City Hall is typical of publicly owned utilities, whether those who live outside the city yet pay Austin Energy for their electricity like to think so or not. This sometimes causes legislators to look at Austin Energy as a problem rather than a top-rated utility.
And sometimes it causes City Council — which is charged with governing the utility to benefit ratepayers as well as the city as a whole — to squirm.