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Announcements


IRP Status & Meetings

Public Utilities Committee Meeting, May 6

At the May 6th City of Springfield Public Utilities Committee meeting the results of the IRP was presented to the Springfield City Council. The Energy Authority, Inc. (TEA) conducted the IRP by compiling and analyzing economic data of CWLP’s existing electric resources along with the economic data of other options such as wind, solar, natural gas combustion turbine, smaller reciprocating engines, power purchases from the market, demand side management and energy storage. Their presentation (see above) showed the results of a number of energy portfolios scenarios, including plant retirements and various generation mixes.


IRP Open House, May 20

An open house for the public to learn more about the results was held on Monday, May 20th at Lincoln Public Library.


Citizens Club Public Policy Forum, June 28

On June 28th, City Water, Light and Power presented information on the Integrated Resource Plan, including background on the need, process and overview of results to the Citizens Club of Springfield at its Public Policy event at the Hoogland Center.


Learn More

PUBLIC NOTICE: Preliminary Environmental Impacts Determination

The City of Springfield through its public utility, City Water, Light and Power, intends to apply for and obtain funding for water system improvements utilizing a low interest loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) Public Water Supply Loan Program PWSLP. Section 662.330 of the Illinois Procedures for Issuing Loans from the PWSLP requires that the IEPA publish an assessment of the environmental impacts of proposed water supply projects to be funded with loans. Prior to granting approval of the plan, the IEPA requires that the public be granted an opportunity to comment as to whether or not the anticipated impacts of the project have been adequately assessed.

The water system improvements projects to be funded by the PWSLP include the following: replacement of lead service lines in the City of Springfield at the rate of approximately 150 replacements per year for each of five years.

The IEPA has reviewed the project plan and concurs with the City’s finding that the proposed project is technically appropriate and cost-effective. Unless new information related to environmental impacts of this project provided through the public comment process causes a reconsideration, the IEPA will approve this planning at the close of the public comment period.

A copy of the Project Plan and the IEPA Project Summary and Preliminary Environmental Impacts Determination (PEID) are available for public inspection at the Office of the City Clerk, Municipal Center West, 300 S. Seventh St., Room 106, Springfield.

All interested parties are invited to review the documents and attend a public hearing on September 18, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. to be held at the Lincoln Library in Carnegie Room South located at 326 South 7th Street, Springfield, Illinois 62701. Verbal and written comments will be accepted at the public hearing. Written comments may also be submitted to the attention of Ted Meckes, Water Division Manager, CWLP, and/or Bill Jankousky, Project Manager, IEPA, within 10 days following the public hearing date. The addresses for written comments are:

Ted Meckes
CWLP
Municipal Center East
800 E. Monroe Street
Springfield, IL 62701

Bill Jankousky
Bureau of Water, IFAS
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
1021 North Grand Avenue East
P.O. Box 19276
Springfield, IL 62794-9276

Save Large With CWLP Geothermal Rebate

Now is a great time for our customers to install a geothermal heat pump in their homes. Besides being three to four times more efficient than standard air conditioners and gas furnace combination systems, if installed by the end of 2019, a 30% Federal Tax Credit is available plus a one-time CWLP rebate up to $3,000. In addition, with a heat pump, CWLP residential customers can qualify for our Electric Heat Rate discount when electricity is used as the primary energy source for heating. Customers who are currently on CWLP's Electric Rates 34-37 already receive this savings.



Why Go Geothermal


Efficiency
Geothermal heat pumps are three- to four-times more efficient than a standard air conditioner and gas furnace combination system. Roughly 70% of the energy used by geothermal systems come from the ground.

Economics
Operating costs are 15% to 20% lower than a conventional forced air heating and cooling system.

Reliability
Since geothermal units are located indoors and are shielded from harsh weather conditions, they last longer and often operate with minimal maintenance.

Comfort
Unlike traditional heating systems that tend to cycle on and off, geothermal heat pumps have longer operating cycles providing even temperatures throughout the year.

Sustainability
Geothermal heat pumps recycle waste heat from the home and use it to supplement the hot water system inside your home.

The Geothermal & Air Source Heat Pump Rebate is available to CWLP residential electric customers meeting all eligibility requirements. Commercial customers may also qualify for this rebate but pre-approval is required and rebate amounts differ.

For information on amounts available for all of CWLP’s rebates and full program details on program pre-approval requirements, please contact the CWLP Energy Services by phone at 217.789.2070 or visit our Rebate page.

Fish Attractors Installed in Lake Springfield


The northern arm of Lake Springfield is now home to multiple new fish “attractors” thanks to a partnership between the Springfield Crappie Club and CWLP. Last month, 10 sites with a total of 60 man-made fish habitats, structures composed of recycled drainage tile and PVC piping, were placed in the lake (photos attached). All materials for the structures are nontoxic and non-carcinogenic. In addition to providing habitat for fish, the placement of attractors helps position and better distribute fishing boat traffic away from crowded or private docks and provides better concentration of game fish to this region of the lake.

CWLP Lake Manager Quentin Jordan said this project brought together a number of groups to bring a unique opportunity to the lake. “The Springfield Crappie Club and CWLP boat patrol brought the idea forward after seeing Lake Shelbyville have some success with these habitat installations,” he said. “The Illinois Department of Natural Resources provided siting and design assistance and then a number of agencies volunteered their time to locate and seek donations for materials, plus assembly in order to get these placed in Lake Springfield.”

Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) manages fishing and partners with CWLP for fish stocking efforts and other resource protection measures. Each location (map attached) for the habitats was chosen based on fish availability, access, and boat traffic. The structures, which range in size from three to five feet long and three feet tall, were placed at depths to not cause issues if the lake level were to drop.

Lake Springfield is home to a full season of fishing tournaments annually, with 91 tournaments held in 2018. Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Bluegill, White Bass, Blue Catfish, and Flathead Catfish have higher populations in Lake Springfield, while the Crappie population is improving. IDNR’s hatchery/rearing pond is currently working to help increase the crappie population. More information on Lake Springfield’s fish populations and outlook can be found here.


The CWLP Land & Water Resources Department and the Springfield Crappie Club were assisted by the following for the fish attractor project.

  • IL Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
  • City, Water, Light, and Power Lake Security
  • Lowes Home Improvement (Wabash Ave)
  • Egizii Electric, Inc.
  • UA Local 137 Plumbers and Steamfitters
  • Lake Area Recycling Services

See the Map

Safe Digging & Green Boxes


Dig Safely

From planting shrubs to building a fence, many outdoor projects require digging. Before the shoveling begins, make sure to call 811 before you dig. It could prevent serious injury or even save your life.

According to its website, the 811 “Call Before You Dig” number is a national line that was created to help prevent people from coming into contact with underground utility lines during digging projects. A professional will then be sent to your digging location to mark the areas where the public utility lines are buried free of charge. It takes a few business days for a professional to come mark your utilities with flags or spray-paint. So make sure to call in advance. If you are in a rush to complete a project, a few days might seem like a long wait. However, a small waiting period can spare you an injury that could take years of recovery. Even digging professionals can run into trouble with buried power lines.

Even if you previously had utilities located by calling 811, it is best to call before every digging project. Underground utilities can shift, and it is important to be certain of where they are before ever putting a shovel in the ground. If you accidently come in contact with an underground utility, do not bury the problem. Your first priority should be evacuating the area for safety and then notifying your utility provider. Do not attempt to fix the problem yourself.



Green Boxes

If you have one of these green metal boxes located in your yard, you probably know it has something to do with your electrical service. These boxes are called pad-mounted transformers and are a key part of the underground electrical system that delivers high voltage power to your home.

Planting shrubs around these transformer boxes, or blocking the access in any way creates a hazard for CWLP utility crews. Just as blocking a fire hydrant is a safety violation, anything that obstructs access to a transformer creates a similar safety violation. In the event of an electrical emergency, utility crew personnel need quick access to unlock and open the transformer cover.

When considering any landscaping, resist the temptation to “hide” your transformer and keep in mind these clearance and safety guidelines:
· Always maintain a clearance of 8 feet in the front of the transformer (the side with the door) and 3 feet around all other sides.
· Never dig beside a transformer or install fencing, storage buildings or plantings near it that would inhibit utility crews’ access.
· Plantings within the clearance area may be removed by utility personnel to gain access to electrical equipment.

Questions on CWLP Equipment Before You Begin Your Project? Contact Electric Dispatch at 789-2121.

CWLP’s First Owned Renewable Generation In Service


The newest CWLP power plant in operation is being fueled by the sun. A 250 kW solar installation, representing the utility’s first owned renewable generation resource, was commissioned for testing he week of December 10th. The solar photovoltaic (PV) array, consisting of 716 panels, is located behind Harrison Park subdivision and adjacent to the Sangamon Valley Trail and the utility’s Washington Substation at 606 Old Tippecanoe Drive. Mayor Jim Langfelder, City Officials, CWLP staff and project partners representing GRNE Solar and B&B Electric and other community groups were on hand for a dedication and ribbon cutting on Thursday to mark the beginning of the solar farm’s operation.

Beyond a new generation resource, the solar farm will provide CWLP customers the opportunity to purchase solar energy for those that want to go green or for customers without the financial means or roof space to install their own solar. A solar subscription program, "mySolar," is available for CWLP customers to purchase 100 kWh blocks of energy through their bill.

According to Mayor Jim Langfelder this solar project is a way to address the interest in CWLP investing in its own locally-owned renewable energy “While not the largest generation asset at CWLP, adding a solar resource is a good step into the technology for our employees to familiarize themselves with solar operations,” he said. “This installation and the mySolar subscription program is a way to educate and engage citizens, too, and determine customer interest in renewables as a balanced generation resource for future energy and jobs.”

The CWLP solar farm, with a project cost not to exceed $437,228, is projected to generate between 339,000 and 373,000 kWh per year or enough to power about 35 homes. The solar farm will offset other carbon-based energy generation.

CWLP Chief Utility Engineer Doug Brown said the solar farm offers access to renewables some customers don’t have. “The up-front costs of solar can be cost-prohibitive and some customers may have limited access to solar due to roof space or tree cover,” he said. “With this project, we are giving easy access to solar that is generated locally and operated under our public power, customer-owned operation.”

GRNE Solar partnered with local labor from B&B Electric to build the solar farm. Construction began November 5th and all work, including safety testing was to be completed December 13th. The ground-mounted PV solar array is south facing to maximize sun exposure for the site.

Gary Hurley, CWLP Energy Services Manager and manager of the project for the utility was pleased with the course of construction and added benefit of the array to the area. “GRNE Solar utilized a low-impact racking system that minimized ground disruption and allowed for a very efficient installation,” he said. “The final phase of the project will include seeding the ground around the solar farm with Pollinator plants. These low maintenance plants will enhance ecosystem in and around the solar farm.”

Learn more about the mySolar subscription program

mySolar

Carbon Capture at CWLP?

On Monday, December 10th a Public Utilities Committee meeting was held on a potential project for the Electric Division. The meeting included presentations from University of Illinois’ Prairie Research Institute and Illinois Sustainable Technology Center on a potential carbon capture project for Dallman Unit 4; as well as project updates from the CWLP Water Division on Lake Springfield watershed protection programs, Water Works Improvement Projects and status of the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement as it relates to a supplemental water supply for the utility. You can view our presentation documents here.

CWLP Statement on Illinois Coal Ash Report

On 11/28/18 Sierra Club, Prairie Rivers Network, Earthjustice, and the Environmental Integrity Project published a report titled “Cap and Run” looking at groundwater data for disposal of coal ash by Illinois power plants.

CWLP staff have taken a preliminary look at the report, “Cap and Run,” released 11/28/18 and don’t find newly revealed data or concern with regard to the ash ponds currently serving the Dallman complex. CWLP will not “cap and run” from its ash ponds and follows and complies with all coal ash regulations. The utility has been participating in groundwater monitoring programs for the vicinity of the ash pond areas and is the source of the monitoring data for its sites cited in the report, which also includes data from other Illinois power plants.

The ash ponds, located downstream and downgradient from Lake Springfield, do not pose a risk to the City’s water supply. There are not any privately-owned, potable wells at risk from CWLP ash ponds in the area.

Other report claims with regard to CWLP ash ponds are inaccurate and misleading. The report states the CWLP ash ponds would be underwater in a 100-year flood, which is not true. In section 14, “CWLP’s defective monitoring keeps Illinoisans in the dark” is misleading. CWLP uses appropriate detection monitoring for its ash pond facilities, which are in compliance with regulations, and regularly makes the monitoring data publicly available and posts it on its website.

As the report notes, the utility is already planning for closure of the ash ponds that receive ash from Dallman 1, 2 and 3. Dallman 4 was constructed with a dry ash handling system and does not send ash to these ponds. The report prematurely criticizes and cites a closure plan still in development. The utility’s recommendation on method of closure, whether by capping, removal or lining the ponds, has not been made and will follow Federal regulations, which allow the utility time to develop closure plans.

Similar to today’s report referencing CWLP and its ash ponds, a current complaint by the Sierra Club, Prairie Rivers Network and NAACP on file with the Illinois Pollution Control Board with regard to CWLP ash ponds, is premature and out of context given that the City and CWLP are already working on a closure plan. These organizations are subjecting Springfield citizens to costly and unnecessary litigation, rather than waiting for CWLP’s closure plans to be developed as the rules allow.

As a publicly-owned, citizen-owned utility, CWLP has long operated as an environmental leader in the industry. CWLP also has a record of being proactive in addressing environmental issues and following regulations in order to protect both air and water quality.

CWLP Energy experts ready to help customers with efficiency & savings

Home energy audits and technical assistance programs helping people save.

City Water, Light and Power Energy Experts are in the business of helping Springfield residents and commercial customers save money and energy through the utility’s various technical assistance programs. The CWLP Energy Experts offer a Money-Back Home Energy Audit program to help residential electric customers reduce their energy usage, save money, address drafts, or just to help them figure out what to do to make their home more efficient. In addition, the Energy Experts can also provide residents and businesses on-site assistance and conduct individual account assessments to help identify efficiency issues or usage questions.

CWLP MONEY-BACK HOME ENERGY AUDIT
CWLP's home energy audit, which is covered by a one-time $25 fee added to a customer’s electric bill, is available to anyone owning or residing in a residential property that receives metered electric service from CWLP. The audit take about two hours to complete in most homes and involves a search for inefficiencies in the home from the attic to the basement, a blower door test and a thorough assessment detailing any problems.

After the audit is complete, the Energy Expert will provide the customer with a packet of efficiency products selected based on the needs identified by the audit. In addition to reviewing findings with the customer as the audit and blower door test are in progress, the Energy Expert will write a report that details all of the improvement recommendations, share information on available rebates and provide savings estimates achievable from each. If any or all of the improvements listed in the audit report are made within one year of the initial audit and the customer completes a follow-up audit, a $25 rebate will be issued to the customer.

SMART SOLUTIONS HOME EFFICIENCY WORKSHOPS
The CWLP Energy Services Office offers “Smart Solutions,” home efficiency workshops throughout the year at the Lincoln Library and on-demand in a group setting for organizations or neighborhood groups, who have a minimum of 15 attendees. In most cases, the workshops can be set up at the convenience of the requesting organization.

COMMERCIAL FACILITY TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
CWLP offers free facility technical assistance to commercial electric customers upon request. Included in a commercial facility technical assistance is a walk-through evaluation of the business' energy systems, including lighting, HVAC and thermostat operation, water heating and other specialized equipment or systems. During the walk-through, the Energy Expert also addresses specific concerns and can provide tips on equipment or operational changes that could be made to reduce energy usage, as well as information about rebates, grants and other incentives for improving energy or water efficiency that might be available from CWLP and other sources.

CWLP Energy Experts also can provide the customer with billing histories in both table and graphical form and explain the bill components. Comparisons of weather-related data can also be provided, allowing the customer to understand the impact weather can and has had on consumption.

GENERAL TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FOR HOMES OR BUSINESSES
The general Technical Assistance (TA) program offered by CWLP is designed to help customers who are experiencing efficiency-related problems in their homes or businesses or who have any type of energy efficiency question. TAs, which are free of charge to CWLP electric customers, can be conducted on-site, over the phone, by mail, or by email—depending on the circumstances and needs of the customer.

Some TAs are investigatory in nature, such as those provided to customers who call with high-bill concerns. Some are educational in nature, such as those that teach customers how to use automatic setback thermostats and provide advice about various efficiency tools, choosing a heating and cooling contractor, or making economic comparisons of energy systems. The CWLP Energy Experts can even help customers design energy efficiency into the structure before building a new home or business.

To make an appointment or for more information on the CWLP Money Back Home Energy Audit or any of the technical assistance programs, customers can call the CWLP Energy Services Office at 789-2070 or email nrgxprts@cwlp.com.