Austin Utilities reaches out to community

Published 8:30 am Friday, July 29, 2016

By Mark Nibaur, Austin Utilities General Manager

Welcome to the first edition of our monthly column titled Connections for Better Living. This monthly column will provide an opportunity for Austin Utilities to share important utility related information. We’ll cover a range of topics from saving energy, employees volunteering in the community, information about the services we offer and answer questions you may have. This is just another way for us to keep customers informed about their utility.

Mark Nibaur

Mark Nibaur

I accepted the general manager position for Austin Utilities in 2010. Yes, hard to believe I have been here over five years, and I have enjoyed the company and community very much. I worked for a privately owned utility, referred to as investor owned utilities, before moving to Austin.

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I can share with you from my personal experience that the benefits you have as a customer of a municipal utility are wonderful. First of all, we are not accountable to shareholders looking for profits. Any savings we achieve are passed on to our customers in the form of lower rates. Municipal utilities are a positive economic influence to their community. In 2015, Austin Utilities paid $1.65 million to the city of Austin in lieu of taxes. This lowers everyone’s tax burden, and our utility revenues get reinvested in programs and services that best suit Austin’s values and needs. Our staff live and work in the Austin area keeping jobs local and allowing us the ability to provide the most reliable, responsive service. Our board and employees are dedicated in provide outstanding service options, lower costs and value to our customers.

When you read this column, we’ll be in the first week of being open at our new service and operation center located at 1908 14th St. NE. We understand the commitment and responsibility this new facility brings to the employees. Over time, we will become more efficient in serving our customers. It’s an investment that will carry the community of Austin well into the future. We hope everyone is as proud of the new facility as we are. Please save the date of Oct. 5; we will be sharing our new facility with an open house and building dedication that will include tours of the building. Please take care.

Austin Utilities is a community-owned, not-for-profit electric, water, and natural gas utility, serving more than 12,000 customers within a community of over 23,000 people.