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Energy Emergency FAQs & New Advisory Status Levels

It has been in the news—the talk about Midwest energy shortages and rolling blackouts. We put together information to explain what it means and give you some tips to prepare. Visit www.CWLP.com/energyemergency to also view the current Energy Emergency Advisory Status. This is based on any Midwest Energy Emergency Declaration by the 15-state grid operator MISO, that would call for electric conservation and/or preparation for protective power outages, rolling blackouts.

New Water Quality Report Released

In 2021 your tap water produced by City Water, Light and Power (CWLP) met all U.S. EPA and State of Illinois drinking water health standards. The 2021 Water Quality Report outlines this information and provides more details about the source and quality of your drinking water.

Read Now

CWLP Presents Lake Circulators “Solar Bees” To Improve Lake Water Health

On March 9, CWLP and Ixom Watercare presented information to members of the Springfield Lake Shore Improvement Association members on the use and placement of circulator equipment, “Solar Bees,” on Lake Springfield—a measure proposed to address lake turnover and resulting water taste and odor issues as occurred last late summer to fall.

From the presentation, one question asked not anticipated was if this area of the lake where the circulators would be placed would become a no wake zone. The answer to that question is no. There is not a plan to dedicate this area of the lake as a no wake zone with placement of any lake circulators.
Watch Video View PDF View FAQs

At the February 1, 2022 City Council meeting, CWLP and Ixom Watercare presented information on lake circulation equipment as a potential solution to alleviate taste and odor impacts of lake turnover and overall improve lake water health.
Watch Video View PDF

Lake turnover, a normal event for surface water supplies, occurs when the water from the top of the lake changes places with the water on the bottom of the lake. With fall temperature changes, as water cools on top of the lake, it becomes more dense, causing it to sink. This dense water forces the water from the bottom to rise. Lack of water movement in a reservoir can exacerbate the turnover effect and increase the taste and odor increasing compounds. The lack of water movement in the reservoir including with nonoperation of Dallman Power Plant Units 31, 32 and 33 appears to correlate with exacerbation of the higher levels of algal compounds and turnover.

CWLP To Ask USEPA To Reconsider Ash Pond Disposal Decision

In order to not jeopardize Springfield electric and water operations, utility will again request extension to October 2023 for time to complete new water treatment lime pond and new disposal option for generation plant wastewater.

New! See video of presentation on CWLP’s USEPA submittal given to the Springfield City Council on January 18, 2022 by Hanson Professional Services. Watch Now


Springfield, Ill.—City Water, Light and Power, City of Springfield, was notified by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on January 11, that its request to extend the current use of its ash ponds for disposal of generation plant wastewater and water treatment plant lime product was denied as the submittal was not complete or justified. Under the Federal Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) rule, the EPA’s decision included that it will implement a public comment period to open January 25, 2022 to run to February 23, 2022 on its proposed revised deadline that CWLP’s Dallman and Lakeside Ash Ponds cease receiving waste 135 days after comment period and its final decision with comments are published. This revised deadline means later this year—depending on when EPA publishes public comments followed by 135 days—the City would not have a permitted option to dispose of these materials and would therefore not be able to operate its Dallman 4 power plant or its water plant until the new disposal options for those waste streams could be permitted and constructed.

CWLP officials say they will issue comments again requesting an extended deadline to next year, October 2023, to be able to use the ash ponds for disposal until new facilities are in place so as to not jeopardize electric and water service to its customers or add unnecessary costs.

CWLP Chief utility Engineer Doug Brown, “It is unfortunate that the EPA made a decision without fully understanding the ramifications to our electric and water customers. We believe we made a clear and concise application pointing to the exact issues as to why we need time to mitigate new disposal options and have no choice but to work within the time constraints of our current ash pond closure plan along with time to complete construction of our new lime lagoon for the water plant.”

Key in its November 2020 submittal to the EPA, CWLP made clear its unique position as the only ash pond owner in the country that utilizes an impoundment for drinking water treatment byproduct disposal. Surprisingly, nowhere in its issued denial did the EPA make any reference or solution to water treatment lime byproduct disposal nor the impacts of interrupting water service for CWLP and its customers.

“In the USEPA’s decision, they missed addressing CWLP’s responsibility to provide drinking water to the City of Springfield and surrounding communities,” Brown said. “Further, in calling our submittal incomplete, the agency has had since November 2020 to ask us for additional information if an issue needed further clarification but they did not. They made their decision, emailed it to us and issued a press release on the same day.”

The EPA in its decision did offer the City could suspend its power plant operation with MISO, its grid operator, as a solution or possible way to get an extension granted if electric reliability issues would present, which Brown finds unreasonable. “There is nothing reasonable in expecting CWLP to go through a MISO process and be asking the citizens of Springfield to standby with zero baseload generation through this next winter and summer of 2023 when all we are asking for is another 12-14 months to get to October 2023,” he said. “CWLP had already laid out a plan to close the ash ponds—meeting all of the groundwater protection standards per the Illinois and Federal Rules.”

Design for a new lime pond for water treatment plant is underway and is the first step towards closure of CWLP’s ash ponds. Construction of the new lime pond is set to begin this summer and be complete by no later than October 15, 2023. Once the new lime lagoon is in operation, CWLP can move forward with plans to close the ash ponds as we’ve already presented to the Illinois EPA which will meet all ground water requirements within the time frames allowed. Plans for closing the ash pond was to begin in 2023 and be complete in 2026.

Public Meetings Held On Ash Pond Closure Plans

Notice of Public Meetings

City of Springfield, Illinois Office of Public Utilities, City Water, Light and Power

City Water, Light, and Power (CWLP) held two public meetings to discuss closure plans for the Dallman and Lakeside ash ponds. The meetings are required for a permit application from the Illinois EPA in order to proceed with closure of the ash ponds.

CWLP’s ash, a byproduct of the coal combustion process from the Lakeside and Dallman Power Plants, was either sent to the ash pond site across from the Dallman Power Plant Complex on the north side of E. Lake Drive or delivered off site for various beneficial re-use such as for road fill or use in concrete and cement.

The public meetings presented the utility’s closure alternatives analysis and assessment of corrective measures among two ash pond closure scenarios: (1) closure in place with a final cover system and (2) closure by removal of all material to an off-site landfill. A copy of supporting documentation, CWLP’s Closure Alternatives Assessment and Assessment of Corrective Measures and related materials is posted here.

View Meeting Presentation PDF Public Meeting Summary

New Virtual Home Energy Audits

Our Energy Services Office is now is expanding its Home Energy Audit in a new, convenient virtual format to help its electric customers with analysis of electric usage specific to their home along with easy efficiency improvements they can do to save energy and increase comfort. The Virtual Home Energy Audit is an easy way for homeowners to figure out where get started to make efficiency improvements by seeking out energy wasters or leaks in the home from the attic to the basement. Many improvements can be made for little to no cost and will help make a home more comfortable through the seasons.

There is no charge to CWLP residential electric customers for this online, one-on-one interaction with a CWLP Energy Auditor. In the virtual audit, the customer will join the virtual meeting from their home and the energy auditor will get more information about the customer’s property to finish an assessment with energy savings tips and information specific to their home.

You can also contact CWLP Energy Services at 217-789-2070 or nrgxprts@cwlp.com if you have questions.

CWLP Bill Assistance

Let us help you stay on track with your CWLP bill and learn about payment plans and new bill assistance options including our new Small Business Rate Relief Rebate, and other ways to get help on your bill.
Bill Assistance


Ways to Save

Another way to address and manage your CWLP bill, is to find ways to reduce your electric and water usage. Let our Energy Services Office help you. Call 217.789.2070 or email nrgxprts@cwlp.com and request Technical Assistance. ESO can help you evaluate your bill and usage, and also give you low cost and no cost tips to help you reduce consumption. You can also go to CWLP.com and click on the Save Energy-Save Water Tab for projects you can do at your property to improve efficiency. There are also rebates available for those that want to make upgrades or improvements to lower usage while maintaining comfort in your property.

CWLP Linemen Take Top Awards At State Lineman's Safety Rodeo

Several City Water, Light and Power Journeymen Linemen and Apprentice Linemen took top honors at the Association of Illinois Electrical Cooperative’s (AIEC) annual Lineman’s Safety Rodeo held at Lincoln Land Community College on September 8th. CWLP teams competed against 16 other teams from electric cooperative utilities around the state and one student team from Lincoln Land Community College. The rodeo highlights the skills linemen use to work safely and efficiently.

Two three man teams and three individuals competed in the rodeo from CWLP in a 40-foot Speed Climb, Hurt Man Rescue, H-Structure Obstacle Course, Transformer Banking and a head-to-head Climbing Challenge. The rodeo events require using skills that focus on agility, speed and accuracy. While these skills are part of the judging criteria, above all, participants are judged on safe work practices. Line personnel competed in five team and individual events. CWLP took first place in the individual and team events for the 40-foot Speed Climb and Transformer Banks. Second Year Apprentice Jared Wells took the top overall individual event award. Second place was earned for the team event in Transformer Banks and the Individual 40 foot Speed Climb and third place went for individual participation in the H-Structure Obstacle. All Awards to CWLP participants were as follows:


Jared Wells
Overall Individual Champion Award
1st place 40-foot Speed Climb
1st place H-Structure Obstacle

Scott Boehm, Brandyn Snider, Zachary Langloss
1st place 40-foot Speed Climb
2nd place Transformer Banks

Zachary Langloss
1st place Transformer Banks

Justin Fawns, Eric Miller, Jared Wells
2nd place 40-foot Speed Climb

Scott Boehm
2nd place 40-foot Speed Climb
3rd place H-Structure Obstacle



Matt Huff, Superintendent of Distribution and General Services with CWLP said, “Along with this being a great event to showcase our teams’ skills, it also highlights what’s required to ensure reliability of the electric system and what our crews do to get the lights back on with both safety and proficiency of the work as a top priority.”

The rodeo coincided with a series of courses provided by the AIEC to help electric line personnel improve safety and efficiency of their work skills.

CWLP Supports Responsible Energy Legislation

City Water, Light and Power is asking State Legislators to take notice of the negative impacts on Springfield if some proposals in pending energy legislation making their way through the Illinois General Assembly are passed. Springfield residents and businesses, the electric customers of CWLP, will face a number of serious, costly and disproportionate negative impacts from premature forced closure dates for power plants, interim decarbonization reductions and caps or declining operational limits for power plants and peaking units. Measures such as this will , add millions in new costs and cause electric reliability risks.


Springfield costs and reliability concerns must be heard. CWLP is asking State Legislators to consider these very real costs and risks to electric reliability before applying a one-size fits all approach through these bills and harming the City of Springfield.


New! Read our statement issued 9/10/21 in response to energy legislation passed in the House and moving to the Senate.
CWLP Statement 9/10/21

Read our statement issued 9/3/21 in response to energy legislation passed in the Senate and moving to the House.
CWLP Statement 9/3/21

Read our statement in response to stalled energy legislation issued 6/16/21.
CWLP Statement 6/16/21

Read our statement in response to draft energy legislation proposals released on 6/11/21.
CWLP Statement 6/11/21



CWLP Already Has Springfield on the Path to a Clean Energy Future

  • Dallman 4, completed in 2009 is still one of the cleanest coal-fired units in the country.
    • The City Purchased 120MW of wind power when Unit 4 was built.
    • Supported by the State of Illinois and the Sierra Club of Illinois.
  • University of Illinois’ Dallman 4 project selected for $67M carbon capture testing pilot—key to a zero carbon future for the energy industry and manufacturing ($47M from USDOE & $20M from the State).
  • Dallman 31 and 32 retired in 2020, and Dallman 33 will retire no later than Fall 2023.
    • Represents a 2 million ton per year greenhouse gas reduction for CWLP.
    • Meets the Biden Administration’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent of 2005 levels by the year 2030—7 years ahead of schedule.
  • Springfield City Council established an environmental fund by adding a fee based upon usage to pay for improvements such as closing our ash ponds and other beneficial projects.
  • Currently negotiating a 100MW solar project as replacement energy for Dallman 33.


Negative Impacts

  • Forced premature closure of CWLP’s Dallman 4 and peaking combustion turbines equates to 150 careers lost at CWLP and 300 at Elkhart, Ill. coal mine.
  • CWLP customers will double pay for their energy. $36.6M a year in bond debt service until 2040, plus costs for replacement energy and major Springfield transmission system upgrades.
  • CWLP cannot import all of the energy needed for Springfield to replace all of its generation.
    • A massive build out of transmission lines and other major system upgrades would be required.
    • In order to make the electrical grid reliable and resilient with only renewables and batteries, it will be extremely expensive and almost impossible to meet the 2035 deadline.
  • A less reliable and less resilient electrical grid with rolling brownouts or blackouts is not an acceptable transition to cleaner energy.
    • More time is needed for zero carbon energy technologies to catch up before across the board baseload coal and gas generators are taken offline.
    • Costs can skyrocket and public safety is put at risk when power supplies are not available.
  • ICC testified to MISO’s report on electrical grid stability
    • MISO’s Electric Grid territory is at risk with renewables over 30%.
    • Unable to estimate the impact on Illinois ratepayers with rapid changes in the power market.
  • NERC (the Federal Agency in charge of reliability) has already issued warnings for this summer, saying that generation may be in insufficient supply in the MISO territory on the hottest days.
  • The cost of renewables will go up when every supplier will be competing for the same resources.
  • Do not create energy poverty. Low income residents will no longer be able to afford monthly utility bills and could be forced to even lower cost, substandard housing or could become homeless.



ACTION:
Springfield costs and reliability concerns must be heard. CWLP is asking State Legislators to consider these very real costs and risks to electric reliability before applying a one-size fits all approach through these bills and harming the City of Springfield. Mandating closures of new coal-fired plants with modern pollution controls without proper analysis or even understanding of the costs and risks associated with these closures and the impact on the reliability and resiliency of the electric grid is irresponsible and short-sighted. Likewise, forcing cleaner and more efficient generators offline in Illinois will result in suppliers buying market energy from less clean, out of state sources—not a fair or viable solution to what is supposed to be a transition to clean energy and progress for the State of Illinois.

Contact Springfield Legislators if you want Springfield’s voice heard on these very important issues. Ask them for support in excluding municipal utilities like CWLP from mandatory closure dates that are before Dallman 4 bond debt is paid off and any requirements that add costs or risk electric reliability in Springfield.
Springfield Legislator Contact Information


CEJA & CCFA
Earlier legislation proposed under the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) HB 804 and SB1718 and Consumers and Climate First Act (CCFA) HB4074 and SB2896. The bills were presented as statewide solutions for transitioning to clean energy by closing and collecting fees from fossil fuel plants, with promises of utility consumer savings while cleaning up ethics in larger Chicago area for-profit utilities and subsidizing nuclear plants. Instead for Springfield, CEJA and CCFA both would force early closure of Dallman 4—while bond debt remains, impose millions in new taxes and fees, and introduce electric reliability risks to Springfield electric users.


FACTS:
CEJA and CCFA impose $100M+ in new costs to CWLP customers. CEJA and CCFA impose millions in new carbon taxes and fees (CEJA to $200M) (CCFA $113M) by the year 2029. This money goes to state pooled funds—some to help for-profit companies—without a promise any benefits ever come back to Springfield. These are only some of the cost impacts caused by these energy bills.

CEJA and CCFA will force early closure of Dallman 4, by no later than 2030, while $366M in bond payments remain to be paid going to the year 2040. This timeline is too fast to properly plan, procure and build replacement generation. This new resource or major transmission system upgrades will need to be built into the Dallman 4 side of CWLP’s Electric Transmission system to support a reliable grid for Springfield. Anywhere from the year 2045 to 2050 is a much more realistic and achievable retirement goal for Dallman 4.

CEJA and CCFA penalize Springfield residents because CWLP owns and operates its own independent generators. Beyond taking on these new fees and taxes, CWLP Electric Customers in Springfield will double pay for their energy resources since they are partially served by fossil fuel generators. They will have to continue to pay for Dallman 4 even though the State legislation will block the unit from operating beginning in 2030, and in addition pay for a new replacement resource—not yet planned or contemplated. Dallman 4 and Viper Mine jobs will be lost with little time to properly transition these employees.

CEJA and CCFA are misdirected and not necessary for the City of Springfield as CWLP is already transitioning to cleaner energy sources and already has oversight and elected representation for its municipal operation and elected City Council. The City Council has already established an environmental fund, which is part of a cost in all customers’ monthly fuel adjustment to pay for future environmental projects. CWLP has just retired two plants, Dallman 31 and 32, with a third, Dallman 33 planned by fall of 2023. These plant retirements represent a 2 million ton per year CO2 reduction.

CEJA and CCFA’s mandates don’t consider CWLP’s early action to reduce carbon and the bills’ 2030 targets are more aggressive even than Federal guidelines. CWLP’s generating facilities will meet the Biden Administration’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent of 2005 levels–by the year 2030, 7 years ahead of schedule, when Dallman Unit 33 is retired no later than September 2023.

CEJA and CCFA offer no guarantees for cleaner or reliable energy for Springfield. Mandating closures of new coal-fired plants with modern pollution controls without proper analysis or even understanding of the costs and risks associated with these closures and the impact on the reliability and resiliency of the electric grid is irresponsible and short-sighted. Likewise, forcing cleaner and more efficient generators offline in Illinois will result in suppliers buying market energy from less clean, out of state sources—not a fair or viable solution to what is supposed to be a transition to clean energy and progress for the State of Illinois.

Learn more details on CWLP and these bill impacts:
CEJA Impacts CCFA Fact Sheet

DOE Awards $47M For Dallman 4 For Carbon Capture Testing Project

On April 30, 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) announced it was selecting the University of Illinois’ Prairie Research Institute (PRI) to conduct large-scale pilot testing of a carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technology at City Water, Light and Power’s (CWLP’s) Dallman Unit 4. DOE is allocating $47 million for this final phase to complete the project, which will build a 10 megawatt (MWe) Linde-BASF advanced post-combustion CO2 capture system to process the Dallman Unit 4 flue gas. The State of Illinois has committed an additional $20 million, bringing the total cost of this phase to $67 million.
Learn More

High Efficiency Toilet Rebate

Replace an old toilet with a new, more efficient unit and get our $50 rebate! Available to CWLP residential water customers only who replace an existing toilet with a qualifying new high-efficiency WaterSense®-labeled model. Toilets installed before 1980 can use as much as 5 gallons of water with every flush, while the high efficiency models use 1.28 gallons or less per flush.

Rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis
HE Toilet Rebate Page

CWLP Residential A/C Rebates Are Back


CWLP residential customers can take advantage of a High-Efficiency Air Conditioner Rebate program to help lower bills and reduce summer energy usage. Qualifying units must be new with a minimum SEER rating of 16 and a minimum EER rating of 12.5 and installed on or after March 1. Cooling capacity must also be less than 72,000 Btuh or 6 tons. Rebates will be given on a first-come, first-served basis to customers meeting all of the eligibility requirements until funding is exhausted. Rebate amounts awarded, which will be applied as a credit to the customer’s CWLP bill, may range from $150 to $600 depending on the unit type installed.


Applicants for the program must:

  • Be CWLP metered electric customers.
  • The central air conditioner meeting the required efficiency ratings must be installed by an HVAC contractor licensed to operate in Springfield.
  • Applications, accompanied by proof of purchase with purchase cost, must be received by CWLP within one year of the installation date to be eligible for the rebate.

For full rebate rules and eligibility requirements see the High Efficiency Air Conditioning Rebate information and form from the CWLP rebate page, or contact the Energy Services Office at 217.789.2070 or email nrgxprts@cwlp.com.

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.

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.