The Austin Utilities Board of Commissioners approved the 2022 Austin Utilities budget and related rate adjustments at the December board meeting. The annual budget is used to set rates along with Cost of Service and Rate Study’s performed every three years.
The board determined that no changes will be made to the electric rate in 2022, and they also determined that water rates will increase by 2% for residential customers and 2% for commercial customers next year. The effect of the overall residential water rate adjustments will be an average monthly bill increase of $.072. About 85% of Austin Utilities current customers are residential. Small to mid-sized business customers can expect to see monthly water increases in the range of $1.68 to $10.56 depending on the size of their meter and usage.
Austin Utilities will not make changes to the natural gas rate in 2022, but they will use their Purchased Gas Adjustment mechanism (PGA) to address anticipated winter gas increases on a month-by-month basis. During the winter months gas prices could be 30-35% higher.
To minimize the impact of commodity price spikes to their customers, Austin Utilities will use several tools, including a Natural Gas Hedge program that locks in cost for 65-75% of our anticipated usage, also a plan to increase winter hedge by up to 90% on a month-by-month basis, a Propane Air Plant that can displace natural gas load and avoid purchasing high-priced gas, they will also use a commercial gas interruptible program in which customers switch to an alternate fuel, and they will also use peak Gas Alerts to warn customers when costs are high, and conservation should be practices.
Portions of the bill related to sewer charges and storm water fees are controlled and administered by the City of Austin. Changes to these costs are not reported by Austin Utilities.