Springfield, MO: City Utilities programs save power for the future

http://www.news-leader.com/article/20111226/NEWS01/112260337/City-Utilities-programs-save-power-future

City Utilities programs save power for the future

Conservation efforts, rebates prove to limit utility usage, costs.City Utilities conservation program

Written by
Wes Johnson
News-Leader

Want to learn more?

For more information about CU energy management and conservation programs, visit www.cuenergywise.com or call CU at 874-8200. That number goes directly to the Energy Management and Conservation department.

Expanded conservation programs offered by City Utilities are having a measurable impact on the utility’s future need for more electricity, gas and water.

Since 2007, electricity-conserving efforts such as commercial lighting rebates, removal of old refrigerators and rebates for Energy Star-rated appliances have cumulatively saved CU the equivalent power use of 4,562 average homes.

Rebates for high-efficiency HVAC units have helped reduce natural gas usage by the equivalent of 2,764 homes.

Water-conserving measures have cut use by the equivalent of 1,558 homes, according to CU.

“Any savings we make from conservation delays the need for additional capacity units into the future,” said Cara Shaefer, director of Energy Management and Conservation.

Shaefer notes those savings came from CU’s investment in energy management and conservation programs.

Over the past five years, CU has spent $5.6 million on a variety of programs. The amount includes program and administrative costs.

On the electricity-conservation side, Shaefer said CU’s commercial lighting rebate provided the most energy savings.

CU provided 146 commercial lighting rebates to companies that switched to more efficient lighting systems.

Rebates to improve heating and air conditioning units were the second most effective at conserving electricity and gas, Shaefer said.

More than 5,300 rebates were issued to upgrade HVAC systems to higher-efficiency units.

A recent program that gave CU customers a $35 credit on their electric bill to get rid of old refrigerators typically plugged in in garages proved successful.

That program took 1,549 refrigerators — usually older, less-efficient units — off CU’s system.

CU’s high-efficiency toilet rebate program resulted in more than 4,000 water-saving toilets being installed in Springfield.

“We’ve even seen a market transformation in Springfield because of this rebate,” Shaefer said. “When it began, there was only one or two retailers with them in stock. Today, you can’t go anywhere without them being available.”

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