Austin Utilities recognized for reliable service to the community

Published 5:14 pm Friday, June 28, 2024

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Austin Utilities has received national recognition for achieving exceptional electric reliability in 2023. The recognition comes from the American Public Power Association (APPA), a trade group that represents more than 2,000 not-for-profit, community-owned electric utilities.

APPA helps electric utilities track power outage and restoration data through its subscription-based eReliability Tracker service. Once per year, APPA’s Reliability Team compares this data to national statistics tracked by the U.S. Energy Information Administration for all types of electric utilities.

“It’s encouraging to see year after year that public power’s track record for providing highly reliable service is backed up by data,” said APPA Director of Research and Development Paul Zummo. “These utilities are the best of the best when it comes to keeping the lights on. And these communities should be proud of their local power providers and appreciate the hard work that goes into earning this recognition.”

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Nationwide, the average public power customer has their lights out for less than half the amount of time that customers of other types of utilities do.

“We are proud to receive this recognition. It is a testament to the hard work of all our staff to ensure that we keep Austin powered,” said Mark Nibaur, general manager at Austin Utilities.

“We focus on converting overhead lines to underground where reliability is impacted by tree growth.  We select these areas based on the condition of existing infrastructure, making sure we do not replace equipment prematurely. We also budget for tree trimming and target areas that will affect the most customers.  Our crew does an excellent job of building and maintaining our system, as we do all of our construction with our employees, and they take great pride in what they do.  Our service crew works very hard to meet the needs of the customers, responding to trouble calls as quickly as possible to keep outage durations to a minimum.  Our goal is to provide the best possible reliability, at the lowest possible cost to the customer,” said Bill Bumgarner, electric distribution supervisor at Austin Utilities.