In 2002, municipalities and electric cooperatives had the option of deregulating and allowing the presence of several energy providers in an area so that customers could have options. Austin chose to maintain regulation through a public provider, Austin Energy. Tuition at the University of Texas at Austin nearly doubled, and Robert Mueller Municipal Airport opened in 1930. The population of the city of Austin grew by 40% between 1960 and 1970, from 185,545 to more than a quarter of a million residents.
Seaholm was able to demonstrate that Austin could run its utility company more economically and efficiently. The lake, which later formed behind the Austin Dam, was named Lake McDonald in honor of Mayor John McDonald, who helped build community support for the project. The green water treatment plant gave rise to the 38-story Northshore Austin, the 32-story Austin Proper Hotel & Residences and the 58-story Independent, on the former site of the Austin Energy Control Center. Austin Energy owns and operates a high-voltage transmission system to move electricity from power generation facilities to substations.
for distribution. Reliability is important to Austin Energy, and the utility is always working to ensure that customers have the energy they need and expect. Transmission revenues come from ERCOT utilities, including Austin Energy, and not directly from retail customers. Between 1967 and 1978, the power company also built the Decker Creek power plant in northeast Austin.
Subsequently, green building classifications became a requirement of the Austin city code for all new buildings built in the city center and paved the way for residential and office buildings with higher energy efficiency. In 1991, the city of Austin created the country's first green building program, classifying homes and buildings based on their energy and water efficiency, and their environmentally friendly design and construction. By the beginning of the 21st century, Austin Energy had acquired an increasing reputation as a national leader in renewable energy. The Austin City Council changed the name of the center in 2004 to Neal Kocurek Memorial Austin Convention Center in honor of the late Dr.
Many services, such as street paving, were delayed and the municipal government was forced to provide money to the utility company to continue working.