Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"Safety Starts With Me" Rap Video Serves As A Safety Reminder

Crew members and staff of the Austin Energy Electric Service Delivery (ESD) Division recently made this in-house video to remind all employees about the utility's safety principles, focusing on the idea that 'safety starts with me.' 

The crowd-pleasing and super-hip lyrics and music are educational; the video debuted at Austin Energy's recent Safety Summit, a full-day training event for all employees within ESD. Link to YouTube:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New Equipment To Help Power A Growing Downtown Austin

Inside a new electrical vault, Austin Energy crews move a transformer into place that will help power the "3 eleven" residential tower at 5th and Bowie Streets.
With the recent economic boom in downtown Austin, our crews are busy building vaults to house electrical equipment that will power new apartments, condos and other large projects. One of those vaults (pictured) will power the 3eleven apartment building under construction at 5th Street and Bowie. 

We are installing four large transformers at the base of the 36-story tower, three of which weigh 18,000 pounds. A specialized crane is used to lower these transformers onto heavyweight rollers, allowing crew members to roll the transformers into their designated space. We are also working on a similar project for the new ballroom and parking garage at the Hyatt Regency Austin on Barton Springs Road.

A specialized hydraulic lift is used to move the transformer into place.

One of four new transformers that crews are installing into an electrical vault that will help power the 3 eleven building, under construction.

The vault's Electrical Room houses switchgear, circuit breakers and other controls used to manage electrical current that passes through the vault to power the building.

The site on which the new equipment is being installed.

A similar vault will be constructed on the site of the Hyatt Regency Austin to power a new ballroom and parking garage.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

$500 Prize Awarded in Refrigerator Recycling Drawing

Winners of the $500 award, Mike and JoAnn Riggen, pictured with grandchildren and an Austin Energy representative at the check presentation ceremony.

Austin Energy customers Mike and JoAnn Riggen won $500 from Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc. (ARCA) in a drawing by Austin Energy, held for customers who recycled their old, inefficient refrigerators and freezers. More than 415 appliances were recycled during the contest period of August 1 through September 15. 

Next to air conditioning/heating systems and water heaters, refrigerators use more electricity than any other household appliance, especially when located in the garage, where the Texas heat makes it work even harder. We provide free pickup and pay customers $50 for old, working refrigerators. The contractor, ARCA, recycles 98 percent of the appliance’s materials and correctly captures and disposes of any harmful refrigerants. 

More than 26,000 appliances have been recycled since the program’s 2005 inception, saving more than 5 megawatts of electricity, or the equivalent energy used by 2,500 Austin homes during the hottest part of the summer. Call (800) 452-8685 to schedule your free pickup. More details on our website at

Monday, October 7, 2013

Austin Energy Launches Energy Use Application

Austin Energy’s residential customers have a new, free tool to help monitor home energy use. The Web-based interactive application can be accessed on a mobile device or personal computer. In addition to daily energy consumption, the app displays your bill history and a future forecast of your electricity bill cost. Once logged in, you can activate an option to receive a text or email alert when your energy use approaches the next electric rate tier.

Along with energy use data, the app offers practical conservation tips for helping you reduce energy consumption and save on energy costs. Try the AE app today by visiting and logging in with your City of Austin Utilities (online bill pay) username and password. 

To share your feedback on the app or if you experience any problems, email the application developer at:

Sample view of energy usage history as displayed in the Austin Energy app