City Utilities

Courtesy of Cara Shaefer-Directory of Energy Services and Renewables with CU

This week on Making Democracy Work, host Leslie Carrier speaks with Cara Shaefer, director of energy services and renewables for City Utilities.

Today’s discussion looks at renewable energy and what City Utilities is doing to enhance this service, and what that means to the local consumer. 

City Utilities

City Utilities has been busy for the last few years installing new metering systems at residences and businesses in and around Springfield.

The advanced metering infrastructure allows two way communication between the utility company and the meters, "so we can get instantaneous reads," said CU's AMI project manager, Chris Hill.  Because of that, he said, the need for meter readers is dwindling.

Dineshraj Goomany / Flickr

City Utilities of Springfield said, in exchange for a free dinner, a group is selling a "power conditioner/surge protector" that allegedly saves residential customers money. CU officials say these "magic black boxes" do not provide any value to consumers and are very expensive. The salespeople usually require you to sign up for installation while at the dinner. Once the devices are installed, the businesses offer no contact information.

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The City of Springfield is looking for candidates for the Board of Public Utilities.  The board has two immediate vacancies and will have three more vacancies in December.

The 11-member board is made up of citizens and is appointed by the Springfield City Council to serve three-year terms.  According to the city, the board establishes policies on how best to serve customers and sets the long-term direction for the utility.

Applicants must meet a two-year residency requirement.  The board meets at 3 p.m. on the last Thursday of each month.

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Temperatures this weekend will be in the upper 80s, and that means lots of people will likely have their air conditioners on, resulting in higher utility bills.

 City Utilities is offering tips for customers to help conserve energy and water and to save money.

 According to CU, residents can save three to five-percent of their air conditioning costs for each degree they go above their normal setting.  The suggested temperature for summer months is 78 degrees.