AUSTIN (KXAN) - When it comes to using energy, Bill Rose does a lot to keep his bill low.
"We have solar screens on the west side of the building and we have energy-efficient appliances," said Rose.
He also keeps his air conditioning set at 80 degrees and he makes sure to turn things off when they're not being used.
His reward comes in the mail each month in the form of small energy bill.
"It's higher in the summer, but I would say somewhere around $65 a month," Rose said.
This time next year Rose's electric bill is almost guaranteed to be going up.
"We've reached the limit where we are at a point where we actually have to look at increase in revenue," said Austin Energy general manager Larry Weis.
Austin Energy officials said they need to increase revenue by $120 million. To do that every Austin Energy rate payer will see their bills go up.
Under the proposal released earlier this week, the average customer would see an increase of a little less than $20 per month.
For those using the least amount of power, percentage-wise, you'll be hit the hardest with a 74 percent increase.That means if your bill is normally $23 it'll jump to $40.
Other customers who use a little less than the average customer could see a 20 percent increase or about $19 more per month.
And if you normally pay about $115 a month you'll see the smallest percentage increase of about 14 percent or a $22 increase.
Even with the increases, Austin Energy's general manager said Austin's energy rates will stay some of the lowest in Texas.
"Cost are going up. Our goal is to stay within the lower 50 percent and keep our rates very affordable," said Weis.
Back in South Austin, Rose said he's OK with paying more for his electricity, especially since its been 17 years since the last increase.
"It's the necessity in terms of building infrastructure to keep up with the growing population," said Rose.
The Austin City Council has the final say when it comes to rate increases. Austin Energy will have a final plan in place to present to the council this fall. If approved, the new rates will go into effect early 2012.
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