AIBA fought the good fight to get Austin Energy to roll back the peak demand threshold to 20kW rather than the 10kW currently in place. We threw in the towel when Austin Energy said no three times and the City Council failed to make this policy change twice.
This effort was born from an attempt to get better electric rates for local, small businesses in the 10-20kW category (called Secondary 2). Originally there were 7,733 commercial customers caught in this category. Of particular note is the fact that this category of small users is paying more than twice the percentage of revenue above cost of service over any other category, including the big users. This is an unfair practice that AIBA works to correct.
Austin Energy has taken some steps to help. The use the average of the four summer months’ peak to determine peak threshold rather than one instance. This removed 1,300 customers from Peak Demand.
Austin Energy also instituted a load factor discount. This gets really complicated but it’s designed to give relief to a business that uses electricity in peaks and valleys vs. a business that uses a higher level of power but on a steady range. This program gave discounts of almost $7 million annually to small users.
In addition, the conservation programs now offered, and those being designed, better address the range of use conditions small, local business presents. Austin energy has met with local business owners to discuss their needs and it seems like they are designing programs to better meet those needs.
The Secondary 2 rate class still pays considerably more above cost of service than any other class but these programs do help some businesses. AIBA continues to work on reducing this disparity.
The Power of Local, a one day retreat for local business was held yesterday and was a huge success. This was AIBA's first all-day event and attendees gave rave reviews. Every panel and speaker brought wit and wisdom to the event. We will soon have videos of each presentation available on Youtube. I'll keep you posted on when this is available.
"Just wanted to THANK YOU and your talented team for all of the hard work and efforts with the event yesterday (and all year round). You all did an AMAZING job! Although It was extremely well coordinated, perfect venue, very informative, fun and did have great value! Count me in for the next one."
"My favorite thing was being surrounded by so many local business people willing to talk and give advice."
"So many good ideas!"
"Such a supportive atmosphere. Loved the variety of businesses on the panels."
"It was fantastic to listen to the panelists, hearing local stories and struggles and successes and their advice."
A very special than you to our sponsors:
Changes are afoot at AIBA World Headquarters! AIBA will be returning to our two newsletter format to better serve you. You have been receiving the AIBA Community newsletter every other week. It's great. It's huge. It's full of important and fun information for businesses and consumers alike. In fact it's too full! Beginning February 1, we will separate our newsletter into two—one for local businesses and one for consumers.
AIBA Community will tell you everything you need to know about what AIBA is doing for you, upcoming events, notices and more. As a local business, it's essential reading. You'll receive AIBA Community on the first of every month.
IndieAustin will tell consumbers about you. Where to go, what to do, where to shop and more will be included so customers can keep up with all things indie biz. don't forget to submit your announcements and happenings to Latest From Your Locals by the 10th of each month to be included in IndieAustin on the 15th of each month. We'll send IndieAustin to our local business subscriber list too so you can see how we are marketing you to the public. And we all shop local too. Right?