LCRA Board approves 2013 Business Plan

Developing 100,000 acre-feet of new water supply a top priority

The LCRA Board of Directors on Wednesday approved a Business Plan for Fiscal Year 2013 that cuts $39.8 million in expenses and frees up other money to pay for the development of new water supplies over the next five years.

The plan is based upon two LCRA goals:

  • Develop 100,000 acre-feet of new water supplies by the end of fiscal year 2017.
  • Hold the nonfuel rates LCRA charges its 43 wholesale electric customers flat for the next four years.

"I’m very pleased that the LCRA Board and staff are moving forward with a plan that expands the water supply and cuts cost" said Tim Timmerman, Chair of the LCRA Board of Directors.

In January, in the throes of one of the worst droughts in Texas history, the Board set a goal to develop 100,000 acre-feet of water in the next five years.

"This Business Plan demonstrates that the commitment that LCRA has made toward finding new supplies of water for our region is far more than just talk," Timmerman said. "We are moving forward with this important goal. This is a good news story."

The plan authorizes 1,984 positions at the start of the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2012. That’s down 314 from the number included in the FY 2012 Business Plan. Most of those positions were eliminated through attrition or through a program that allowed employees to voluntarily leave LCRA in exchange for a severance package. There have also been some strategic reductions in force. All are part of a companywide reorganization guided by LCRA General Manager Becky Motal.

Motal moved into her job on July 2, 2011. She immediately eliminated approximately 60 unfilled positions and required that any new positions be approved by her.

In August, she announced a sweeping reorganization that dissolved five separate business units within the organization and restructured LCRA to focus on the product lines of water, generation of electricity and transmission of electricity. The move came after 10 of LCRA’s 43 wholesale electric customers announced that they were leaving LCRA because electric rates were not competitive. Other customers announced that they were reducing the amount of electricity they were buying from LCRA.

Approximately 69 percent of LCRA’s revenues come from the sale of electricity.

"We absolutely had to cut costs to become more competitive," Motal said. "The reorganization was aimed at making LCRA more nimble, improving communication and eliminating redundant management structure."

The business plan calls for total revenues for LCRA of $1.221 billion, with 38 percent of that ($468 million) going to the purchase of coal and natural gas used to generate electricity.

The Board also approved a $609 million Capital Plan for FY 2013. Of that, $547 million goes to pay for projects previously approved by the Board. Those include a replacement for the Thomas C. Ferguson Power Plant in Horseshoe Bay and the Competitive Renewal Energy Zones transmission projects.

The 2013 Business and Capital Plans are available at LCRA.org.

  • LCRA FY 2013 Business and Capital Plans
  • LCRA TSC FY 2013 Business and Capital Plans