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Old 08-01-2012, 02:57 PM
 
658 posts, read 1,895,429 times
Reputation: 428

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I said in earlier post......Looking back at my electric bills from 2005 I see the same cost for electricity but customer service charges have increased from $27.01 to today's $57.49. The new rate increase has a few more service charges that will add even more dollars to bring my total customer service charges to over $60.00 in every bill. The electricity rates may not have gone up but they were getting more money from us all along.


Quote:
Originally Posted by verybadgnome View Post
Are you talking about the basic connection charge or the consumption charges? If it is the former I only get charged $6/month on my bill. Are you in a single family home?
I am in a single family home and was comparing customer service and fee charges from a summer 2005 city bill to a summer 2012 city bill.

2005

$6 for customer charge electric
$4 for customer charge water
$4 for customer charge waste water
$2.60 for anti litter trash
$10.41 for drainage and street fees
Total......

$27.01


2012

$6.00 for customer charge electric
$1.95 for transmission service cost
$7.10 for customer charge water
$4.40 for revenue stability fee
$9.25 for customer charge waste water
$5.00 for anti litter trash
$8.75 for customer charge trash
$7.75 for drainage fee
$7.29 for transportation user fee
Total......

$57.49

The charges may be even higher because they are adding on a few new fees and calling it Community Benefit Charge...

Customer Assistance: $1.72 per 1,000 kWh to fund utility bill discounts for low income customers .

Service Area Streetlights: 93 cents per 1,000 kWh to maintain and power the streetlights and traffic signals in Austin and all communities served by Austin Energy.

Energy Efficiency Services: $2.89 per 1,000 kWh for energy efficiency programs, the least expensive offset to new generation.

At least summer rates will be for 4 months instead of 6 months.
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,769 posts, read 32,671,425 times
Reputation: 8056
You are looking at utility bill fees, not just electric fees. So much of that is not related to your electric service cost, such as the water, trash, drainage, and transportation fees....
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:35 PM
 
658 posts, read 1,895,429 times
Reputation: 428
Quote:
Originally Posted by verybadgnome View Post
Are you talking about the basic connection charge or the consumption charges? If it is the former I only get charged $6/month on my bill. Are you in a single family home?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trainwreck20 View Post
You are looking at utility bill fees, not just electric fees. So much of that is not related to your electric service cost, such as the water, trash, drainage, and transportation fees....
All I have said is that the fees charged have gone way up over the years.
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,052 posts, read 80,309,800 times
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When I lived in Pflugerville I noticed that in the city my bill was higher due to the fees they collect as opposed to living outside the city limits where I paid direct. This was just for garbage though since at that time it was the same company.

While the city may contract out the work, they still have to employ city workers and produce a bill for customers.
Those fees take care of them being the middle man.

Now with Austin Energy..they are the provider and there is no middleman and the fees have definitely seen a creep over the years.
It will get to the point where the fees are more than what the actual service cost.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,769 posts, read 32,671,425 times
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Quote:
All I have said is that the fees charged have gone way up over the years.
Yup, I know, but for those casually reading through the thread, it started as talking about electric costs and is starting to morph into total utility costs. The electric rates are the 'hot' item currently, the others have had a fairly even increase in costs as opposed to the formerly stagnant electric costs.
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
574 posts, read 1,145,622 times
Reputation: 742
Quote:
Originally Posted by tibbar View Post
All I have said is that the fees charged have gone way up over the years.
A couple years ago when I lived in an apartment in Austin, for about half the year the "fees" would be more than what I was charged for the actual electricity use....ridiculous.
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:29 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,769 posts, read 32,671,425 times
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Quote:
A couple years ago when I lived in an apartment in Austin, for about half the year the "fees" would be more than what I was charged for the actual electricity use....ridiculous.
But...was that because the electric rates were so low? and are you also talking about fees other than electric fees? Some services are better billed as fees rather than rates - garbage fee, etc.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:06 AM
 
Location: SW Austin & Wimberley
6,331 posts, read 16,930,764 times
Reputation: 5514
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trainwreck20 View Post
Yup, I know, but for those casually reading through the thread, it started as talking about electric costs and is starting to morph into total utility costs. The electric rates are the 'hot' item currently, the others have had a fairly even increase in costs as opposed to the formerly stagnant electric costs.
I think most people in Austin, because the bills are combined, refer to the "electric bill" as that top line number even though it includes all the other things we've discussed such as water, trash, fees, etc.

When someone asks me about a house and what the "utility bills" might be, I tell them to start with $0.10 per sqft per month as an annual baseline average, then adjust for age, condition, etc.

So, a 2,000 sqft 1990s home ought to produce about $2,400 per year in utility bills, all inclusive, higher if it's older, lower if it's newer, in Austin. I think I may need to revise that guesstimate up pretty soon the way things are going.

Steve
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Round Rock
14 posts, read 26,713 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by drshdw View Post
Really? What about inflation, wages, maintenance, expansion, power plants? The power lines are just a tiny part of the equation. Do you still make the same amount of money you did in 1950? I think not. You don't have to buy electricity if you don't want to.. it's a choice.
Sorry, I haven't read through all of the other posts yet... But this is what i was thinking! Will keep reading, and carry on.
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,769 posts, read 32,671,425 times
Reputation: 8056
A couple of points from my perspective:
- What are the rates (or what will they be after an increase), and how does that compare to other residents of Texas (and/or nationally)? If the total cost of electricity were to double, fees and variable costs combined, would we be paying a higher, lower, or similar cost. What the rates are currently is really irrelevant.
- There are lots of fees on the utility bill. I kind of like a subdivided bill, so at least I can see what the money is being (theoretically) used for. If those fees go up, there should be individual reasons tied to what the fee supports. If it was just one big fee (or rolled into the variable charge), then it is hard to pin-point why rates are going up and whether they should or shouldn't.
- On that same note, the electric portion of the bill should support the electric generation and distribution, or, to a limited extend, energy projects (even if they are net negative revenue) like street like modernization. I really, really dislike (although every government body does it) the use of a 'general fund'. If you are going to shuffle money from one revenue source to another program, make it very, very clear what is going where.
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