Austin Energy

Austin Energy Community Solar Survey

Later this year, Austin Energy will begin offering its customers an opportunity to sign up to receive solar energy generated at community solar installations located at the Kingsbery Substation in East Austin, and, in the future, from other solar installations located throughout Austin.  Community solar will allow customers who rent or whose homes cannot be fitted with their own solar panels to be able to purchase local solar energy.

Austin Energy is currently considering several options for how to allow residential customers to enroll in its community solar program, including:

  • a capacity-based subscription with an upfront fee and monthly production credits (Austin Energy estimates investment would pay back in 13 years, with $90/month in savings for 12 more years);
  • a capacity-based subscription with a monthly fee and monthly production credits (Austin Energy estimates the average customer would save $6/month);
  • a fixed community solar fee that would replace the power supply adjustment (PSA) fee (this would initially be more expensive, but could be cheaper in later years);
  • a community solar fee that would be added to the PSA (similar to GreenChoice, where customers forever pay more);
  • a customer ownership model, where customers would buy a number of panels upfront and receive monthly production credits (Austin Energy estimates investment would pay back in 15 years, with $90/month in savings for 10 more years); and
  • a low-income community solar offering subsidized through customer charges.

We encourage you to take Austin Energy’s survey, which the utility will use to help determine the most appropriate model to ensure the success of the community solar program.

Please note that you may have to enable pop-ups and if you see a note that asks for a Login ID and Password, just ignore that and click “Begin Survey.”

The survey will close on June 1st, so don’t wait!

Austin Solar Champion Retiring

Leslie LibbyLeslie Libby, Austin Energy’s Solar Energy Services Project Manager, is retiring after 23 years of service.  In 2003, she was assigned the task of developing a solar rebate program.  Leslie’s skills and desire to see solar flourish in Austin made her the perfect woman for this job.  Under her leadership, Austin Energy helped 2,100 participants install 8.7 megawatts of solar on their rooftops.

A study in 2012 found that Austin Energy had the lowest cost residential solar projects in the country.  This is thanks in no small part to the active solar market that Leslie helped to foster through the Austin Energy solar program.

Leslie has been a true champion for solar in Austin.

To recognize her years of service to the community Councilwoman Tovo will honor Leslie with the Distinguished Service Award tomorrow (Thursday, March 12).  The ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.  Parking is free (with validation) in the garage under City Hall.

We hope you will attend to show your support and gratitude for all that Leslie has done to keep solar growing in Austin.

Solar Austin Happy Hour with Austin Energy’s New Solar Manager, Danielle Murray

Danielle Murray photoDanielle Murray, Austin Energy’s new Manager of Solar Energy Services will be featured at the next Solar Austin Happy Hour!

When: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm
(program starts at 6:30pm)

Where: Private room at Scholz Garten
(1607 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701)

Please RSVP.

Most recently, Danielle has been the Renewable Program Manager for the City and County of San Francisco, where she led efforts to develop streamlined permitting and innovative financing mechanisms, served as chair of the Mayor’s renewable energy task force, managed Solar America Cities and SunShot grant awards from the US DOE to reduce solar soft costs, coordinated district energy research and development, and engaged in extensive public and industry outreach.

This will be a great opportunity to ask questions about Danielle’s ideas for growing and improving solar programs in Austin.

Please help us welcome Danielle to Austin!

More Information and RSVP here.

Happy Hour: Transitions with Michael Osborne (Tuesday, March 18th)

Join us for an interesting evening that will start with some good old fashioned networking with the Solar Austin community, and will be topped off by a welcome dose of discussion with one of Austin’s finest and most well known personalities, Michael Osborne, Principal at Osborne Companies, and former Special Assistant to the GM at Austin Energy, as Michael has recently retired from A.E.

Michael Osborne

When: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM, program starts at 6:30pm 

Where: Private room at Scholz Garten (1607 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701)

Please RSVP.

Michael is an author, inventor, and policy maker.  He has served on the steering committees  of the State of Texas Energy Policy Partnership and the Sustainable Energy Development Council under Governor Ann Richards, and on the Texas Energy Coordination Council appointed by then Governor George Bush.

He has been a renewable energy and climate change activist since the mid 1970s when he designed and built his first passive solar home.  In 1981, heinstalled the first wind farm in Texas. In 1983, his company, Osborne Solar, became the Solarex distributor for Texas.  Throughout the 90s, his company documented and leased the wind resource for the West Texas windfields.  He is one of three founding members of the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association. 

His book, Lightland, is a philosophical look at the human potential in light of the challenge of climate change.  His book, Silver in the Mine, is a long term comprehensive energy plan for the City of Austin, Texas. His third is an allegory called Day of the Heart. His most recent work is Beyond Light and Dark. All of his works are available in bookstores and at Amazon.com. His blog can be found at earthfamilyalpha

Please join us to welcome Michael Osborne to the Solar Austin Happy Hour stage!

Please RSVP.

State Parking Garages can be found next to, behind and across from Scholz Garten. San Jacinto Blvd., 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and Trinity have parking garage entrances.

 

Although our happy hours are free and open to all, we hope you’ll consider donating to Solar Austin.  Help us keep solar energy growing in the Austin area.

Solar Austin Happy Hour: Austin Energy Resource, Generation, and Climate Protection Plan to 2020

You are cordially invited to join the Austin solar community for a discussion on the Austin Energy Resource, Generation, and Climate Protection Plan to 2020.

This event will welcome Matt Johnson who will share insights and perspective into the development and adoption of the Austin Energy Resource, Generation, and Climate Protection Plan to 2020 in 2010, including points on revising resource acquisition and management strategies in light of up to date market and environmental realities.

We will also welcome representatives to the Happy Hour stage to offer an environmental community perspective on this issue and describe the city’s 2 year generation plan update process.

Matt JMatthew Johnson is a Sr. Account Executive at the clean technology communications and consulting firm Mercom Capital Group. Prior to Mercom, Matt worked for Public Citizen’s Texas Office and the D.C.-based Environmental and Energy Study Institute. In 2009, he was selected to represent consumer interests on the Austin Generation Resource Planning Task Force, and organized the Clean Energy for Austin Coalition, which supported city council passing the Resource and Climate Protection Plan in 2010. He holds an MA in Sustainable Development from the SIT Graduate Institute and a BA in History from Augustana College.

When/Where: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM (CST)/Scholz Garten, 1607 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701 State Parking Garages can be found next to, behind and across from Scholz Garten. San Jacinto Blvd., 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and Trinity have parking garage entrances.

 RSVP (desired but not required)