Texas public power utility Austin Energy earned the 2019 Award of Continued Excellence (ACE) on April 1 from the American Public Power Association’s Demonstration of Energy & Efficiency Developments (DEED) program.
The award recognizes continued commitment to the DEED program and its ideals, including support of research, development and demonstration, improving efficiency, renewable resources, and support of public power.
The award was presented during the Association’s annual Engineering & Operations Technical Conference, held in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“There’s no doubt about it: Austin Energy is not only a champion of the DEED program, but a leading utility when it comes to cutting-edge, sustainable service to customers,” said Michael Hyland, American Public Power Association Senior Vice President for Engineering Services.
Austin Energy has been an active DEED member for 35 years, garnering innovation grants, furnishing board members, and encouraging other utilities to join the program, the Association noted.
Over the years, the utility earned 14 DEED innovation grants and has been a sponsor and mentor for 31 DEED scholarship students studying in energy-related disciplines.
Austin Energy interns sponsored through the DEED program have worked on charging station rollouts, led initiatives to bring EV charging to local school districts, launched a program for electric pedicabs, managed a solar forecasting project, performed economic modeling for a U.S. Department of Energy led grant, and done extensive marketing and outreach to the utility’s customers.
Austin Energy has also leveraged its relationships with organizations such as the Electric Power Research Institute and E Source to develop best practices and implementation plans for everything from marketing energy efficiency programs, to transportation electrification strategies. The utility has also been a part of multiple partnerships with academic institutions.
Austin Energy also supports the local solar industry with more than 60 solar contractors participating in its solar incentive program. More than 8,000 customers have installed solar through Austin Energy's residential and commercial solar programs, totaling over 55 megawatts, the Association noted.
Another way Austin Energy supports customers' choice for renewable energy is through the GreenChoice program. The program allows customers to choose to be 100 percent green through wind energy. This program has subscribed more than 16,000 customers with more than 700,000 Megawatt hours in sales.
For more information about DEED, visit www.PublicPower.org/DEED.