City Utilities takes an interest in pre-winter rebate programs

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It is not too late for households in the Springfield area to take advantage of City Utilities programs that could save money during the winter.

At the end of September, CU began warning customers that natural gas bills this winter could cost taxpayers double the dollars they paid last year.

In a presentation on CU finances at the last CU board meeting on October 28, CU CFO Amy Derdall offered a “friendly reminder” – CU “doesn’t make a dime or a dime or a half of natural gas sales that we pass on to our customers. If we pay $ 2, they pay $ 2. If we pay $ 6, they pay $ 6. “

Shortly thereafter, awareness programs that can help taxpayers cut costs were briefly discussed, particularly the level of pay.

The Level Pay program estimates a taxpayer’s typical energy consumption during the year and then averages the monthly bill. In this way, the payment owed to the taxpayer-owned utility company remains stable every month.

But taxpayers aren’t exactly flocking to Level Pay.

At this latest board meeting, CU Managing Director Gary Gibson said, “In fact, our increase in the number of Level Pay customers is typical of what we normally see in the fall of the year. year, which is unfortunate. So I’m going to take this opportunity just on camera to encourage customers, this is another tool they can use to control their heating costs in the winter and level them out so they can budget.

Following:Natural gas bills could double this winter, according to Springfield City Utilities. The time to prepare is now.

CU chief spokesperson Joel Alexander said on Monday: “We expect more customers to sign up for this option as higher utility bills are expected this winter.” He urged anyone interested to call CU customer service at 417-863-9000 to learn more about Level Pay.

Meanwhile, interest in rebate programs is on the rise, Gibson said at the board meeting. “Rebate processing time” takes longer for customers to earn cash back for smart thermostats and insulation upgrades.

Gary Gibson speaks after being announced as the new Managing Director of City Utilities on Thursday, October 17, 2019.

CU offers 50 percent of the cost of residential insulation upgrades, up to $ 500, to its customers. A low-income residential insulation program offers professional insulation contractor assessment and other services for “pre-qualified” clients.

CU is also offering discounts of $ 75 to customers who install an Energy Star certified smart thermostat in their home.

“We had a really good response on the insulation reimbursement and the insulation reimbursement for low income people,” Gibson said at the meeting.

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Since this year’s isolation incentives were announced in September, CU has received 145 requests, said Alexander, the spokesperson. “That’s about three times the interest in a normal year,” he said.

Interest in smart thermostats is “just slightly above the normal level” of customer participation, Alexander said. “With Black Friday sales already starting, this could be a good opportunity to find a smart thermostat already on sale and still get a discount. “

Meanwhile, the weather could help taxpayers somewhat on their heating bills. The US Climate Prediction Center released its forecast for winter 2021-2022 late last month, as La Niña conditions loom ahead of winter. The CPC predicted an approximately 40% chance of above-average winter temperatures in Springfield and southwestern Missouri. Much of the southern and eastern parts of the country are expected to be warmer than usual, with wetter conditions in the north and west, CPC said.

Contact News-Leader reporter Gregory Holman by sending an email to [email protected] Please consider subscribing to support vital local journalism.


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