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As a community-owned water supply, CWLP staff took great care in putting together a water rate increase proposal that retains great value to our customers and also provides funding for important projects for the operations and maintenance of the City’s water system. The plan calls for strategic investment in vital water infrastructure in order to continue to provide reliable high quality water and concurrently, also meet the required State mandates for lead service line replacements for our customers.

On Tuesday, February 20 the Springfield City Council approved the request for a two-year phased-in water rate increase of 32% on the total CWLP Water Charges beginning March 1, 2024 and another 32% on the total CWLP Water Charges beginning March 1, 2025. With these increases an annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Water, Sewer and Trash adjustment will be applied each year starting March 1, 2026.
Video of CWLP’s Full Budget Presentation CWLP’s Budget Presentation PDF Water Rate Increase Proposal Overview

How will the CWLP water rate increase apply to my bill?

On Page 1 of your CWLP bill you will find two lines with water charges, labeled and showing a cost per unit as “First/Next 5 Units/Over 10 Units…” and the “Water Monthly Customer Charge.” If you multiply the total amount of the line “Water Charges” by 1.32, you can calculate an estimate for the Year 1 CWLP increase based on the usage for that bill, and by multiplying that amount by 1.32 again, you can calculate an estimate for the Year 2 CWLP increase based on the usage for that bill.

As an example, the FY25 rate increase represents about 15 cents per day on a household’s bill if using 5 units or 3,740 gallons of water, which would go from $14.78 to $19.51. For more perspective, a gallon of water delivered to the tap to our customers with this increase still costs under a penny per gallon. CWLP’s water rates remain the lowest in the state even with this proposed first year increase of 32%.



Why is a water rate increase needed?

This is the first water rate increase CWLP has requested since the last phased increases completed in 2011, which funded a near top to bottom upgrade of our Water Purification Plant and its High and Low service pump stations. The last water rate increase approved that covered increased costs for operations and maintenance of the water system was 2003 to 2004.

The rate increase approved this year plans ahead for the next two budgets and into the future for larger bonded projects along with addressing current debt and a structural cash deficit in the water fund due to not having enough revenues to cover the increasing costs of operations. The largest project need for this rate increase will provide funds required to address a new State mandate. Beginning in 2027, Illinois cities must replace all lead service lines in their service territories. There are an estimated 11,000 lead service lines in CWLP’s Water Distribution System that exist in CWLP’s Water Distribution System in Springfield’s pre-1930s construction. These lines are part utility-owned and customer-owned and the estimated cost to replace is $150 million.

Other communities such as Bloomington, Quincy and Decatur, to name a few, are also either currently increasing or soon increasing their water rates in order to meet increased regulations on lead service line replacements and other infrastructure needs, signaling that these cities with the City of Springfield are being prudent in investing in this work now.




What projects will be funded?

In FY25 in first set of major projects, we will begin water main replacements with the goal of reaching of 1% of system or 7 miles per year, and also continue work to be ahead of the State’s lead service line mandate, which requires the replacement of the estimated 11,000 of these lines that exist in the CWLP Water Distribution system in Springfield’s pre-1930s construction. Under that mandate, the City has 20 years to complete all of its replacements, which are estimated at a total cost of $150 million.

CWLP’s lead service line replacement program began in 2019 with about 700 replacements completed to date, which included all licensed day cares and schools and many homes with low income families needing assistance. To cover the cost of the private homeowner portion of the lead service line, CWLP has utilized $5 million in IEPA State Revolving Fund (SRF) grant funds to complete those projects to date. CWLP is currently applying for another round of IEPA SRF funding and will continue to route these monies to help cover the cost of replacements for homeowners.

For more information on lead service lines and drinking water safety, visit our information page, https://cwlp.com/LeadAwareness.aspx.

Bill assistance and Savings With Water Conservation

If financial troubles are making it difficult for you to make payments on your CWLP bill, our Customer Service Office (217.789.2030) will provide assistance with a level payment option or a payment plan for your monthly bill.

We also like to help our customers reduce their water usage and be sure to find and fix water leaks to ensure that they don’t waste that resource and face higher bills. Our Energy Services Office is tasked with providing a variety of services designed to help our residential and commercial customers evaluate their electric and water usage and monthly bill.

Implementing water conservation measures and identifying and fixing leaks is a way to reduce your water usage and yield bill savings. Our Energy Services Office is ready to assist and can provide technical assistance with your water and energy usage (217.789.2070 or nrgxprts@cwlp.com). This office offers a number of rebates for HE toilets, rain barrels and more, plus a number of ways to find and fix leaks along with conservation tips.

About non-CWLP services for sewer that appear on the CWLP bill

There are sewer and sanitary services on the CWLP bill that are collected as a courtesy and as a billing cost savings measure for Public Works and the Sangamon County Water Reclamation District (SCWRD). These charges appear on Page 2 of the CWLP bill and include the Public Works Sewer charges, which were approved by the City Council to increase by 32% on March 1 of this year and another 32% on March 1 of 2025 and the SCWRD Charges, which their board approved rates to increase effective May 1 for their sanitary/sewer services provided.

On March 1 all new Water and Sewer Rate Schedules will publish here.

Steps To Take When The Temperature Drops

Stay Warm & Save Energy

When temperatures drop, be aware of how to stay warm while saving energy and also avoid freezing pipes. Energy costs can run high when your home heating systems have to run harder the colder the outdoor temperatures.

  • Lower the temperature on your thermostat and layer up in clothing to keep you warm. While sleeping or away, lower the thermostat even more or set a programmable thermostat to increase your energy savings.
  • Set water heater temperature to no higher than 120° as these units account for 20% of your heating costs.
  • Clean or replace your furnace filter.
  • Use sealant or metal tape to close over leaks or holes in your air ducts.
  • Caulk and add weather stripping to doors and windows that leak air.
  • Allow direct sunlight to enter windows to increase solar heat gain in the building.
  • Make sure your insulation is up to a foot or foot and half deep in your attic or crawl space.

Freezing Pipes Cause Damage

Besides staying safe and reducing your exposure to the elements, be aware of non-insulated areas and spots in older homes where water pipes could freeze and cause damage. Here are a few precautions homeowners may take to prevent water lines from freezing as well as some action that can be taken if the pipes should burst:

For older homes and non-insulated areas, learn how to prevent frozen pipes:

  • If you have pipes that are exposed to cold air, such as in attics or crawlspaces make sure they are fitted with proper insulation or heat tape.
  • Caulk any cracks or holes in outside walls and foundations near water pipes.
  • Close and cover exterior crawl space vents with foam board insulation for the winter (remember to re-open the vents in the springtime).
  • Mobile home owners should ensure heat tape is applied properly and working.
  • Run your hot and cold faucets at a trickle to relieve excessive pressure.
  • For sinks on outside walls, leave cabinet doors open to allow room air to circulate and warm pipes.
  • Disconnect exterior water hoses.
  • If you plan to be away from your home for a few days, don’t lower the thermostat below 58 to 60 degrees. For extended periods away, shut off the main water valve and drain the entire system.


Dealing With Frozen Pipes:
Before taking action, you might want to consult a professional plumber.

  • If a pipe has burst and it is possible to reach your main water valve without standing in water, shut it off. If there is standing water or if you can’t locate your main valve, call the CWLP at 217.789.2323 ext. 2 and a crew member will come to your home to shut your water off for you. This is also the time to call your plumber to repair the broken pipe.
  • If a pipe hasn’t burst, turn on all water faucets. Pipes that aren’t completely frozen may thaw out due to the incoming water being above freezing. Leaving faucets open slightly will also help prevent pipes from breaking as they thaw.
  • If you’re unsure where the frozen section of pipe may be, first warm the pipe closest to where water enters the home. This will help prevent further freezing and may quicken thawing.
  • Never leave electric thawing equipment unattended and be careful of possible electric shock. Don't use electrical equipment in or near standing water. Never attempt to thaw pipes with an open flame.
  • Call a plumber If some fixtures are still able to run water. It is possible that the problem is not a frozen water pipe.

CWLP & Supplemental Water Supply Project

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has its Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the permit application underway for a proposed Springfield Supplemental Water Supply and Aquatic Recreation Project. Learn more about that project here, http://supplementalwater.cwlp.com/

An open house public meeting was held on Wednesday, September 6th from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. to allow the public an opportunity to review information associated with the Draft SEIS as well as ask questions of resource specialists concerning the SEIS. See meeting exhibit documents here http://supplementalwater.cwlp.com/Documents.aspx


Severe Weather Can Cause Power Outages


Severe weather can cause power outages so if you’re at home and the power goes out, please know CWLP crews will work to restore power as efficiently as possible without compromising safety. When there are widespread outages, besides the CWLP Outage map, utility will update the local news media, its Facebook and Twitter pages with the latest information to help get the word out to help free up resources for the utility’s Electric Dispatch to be able to employ their most efficient response for power restoration.

For checking outage status, our customers can input their street address number and phone number associated with their CWLP account on the CWLP Outage Map to confirm the utility is aware of an outage. Do understand during very large outages it may take longer for the map to update and restoration estimates aren’t always possible. You can also report new or unknown outages and damaged equipment or downed power lines to Electric Dispatch at 217-789-2121. Downed power lines can also be reported to 911.

Learn More from the CWLP Outage Center page, Electric Outages.

Groundbreaking Held For Carbon Capture Pilot at CWLP


Officials from the University of Illinois, the City of Springfield, the State of Illinois, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) gathered on Dec. 8, 2022 for a groundbreaking ceremony for a 10-megawatt carbon capture project at City, Water, Light, and Power’s (CWLP) Dallman Unit 4 in Springfield, Illinois.

“This is an essential step toward implementing innovative CO2 reduction strategies, reducing carbon emissions and greenhouse gases at an industrial scale,” said Kevin OBrien, Director of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) and the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) at the Prairie Research Institute (PRI).

The ceremony kicked off Phase III Build and Construction for the 10-megawatt (MWe) Linde-BASF advanced post-combustion CO2 capture system to process the Dallman Unit 4 flue gas and is recognized one of the world’s largest carbon capture pilots.

“The CWLP project represents an exciting milestone in our efforts to advance and deploy carbon capture, and to bring real economic benefits to communities and entire regions as we move to a clean energy economy,” said Lynn Brickett, Director, Point Source Carbon Capture Division in the DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management. “I thank all of our partners for their work to move this project forward.”

DOE has allocated $47 million for this final phase to complete the project. The State of Illinois has committed an additional $20 million, bringing the total cost to $67 million.

“Our students deserve and need a future that is worthy of them,” said Timothy Killeen, President of the University of Illinois System, “and this project is an important component of that, which is very exciting because this project is not only successful but scalable.”

DOE cited the successful construction and operation of the Dallman Unit 4 test plant as a means to demonstrate economic carbon-capture technology and help enable commercialization of the technology.

“We are fortunate that the Prairie Research Institute at University of Illinois and the Department of Energy chose our city for this monumental project,” said Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder. “This pilot is not only a value to our regional economic impact and job creation, but the impact it will have globally—as the energy industry and manufacturing sectors are all working to create a better balanced, low carbon future.”

PRI projects the construction and operation of the Dallman Unit 4 carbon capture facility will have a regional economic impact for construction and jobs of $47.1 million and will generate tax revenue of $5.6 million.

“Demonstrating this technology couldn’t be more timely, as this project is what the U.S. and other countries need to keep economies moving by adapting existing generation sources to support a resilient and reliable energy grid,” said CWLP Chief Utility Engineer Doug Brown. “We are pleased to host this project at our Unit 4 and look forward to future innovation the Prairie Research Institute and the DOE can develop that CWLP can bring to fruition.”

Participants included University of Illinois System President Tim Killeen; Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder; City, State and Federal officials; representatives from University of Illinois and its Prairie Research Institute; U.S. Department of Energy; City Water, Light and Power (CWLP); Plumbers & Steamfitters #137; IBEW #193’ Boilermakers #363; and project partner companies Linde, ACS and BASF.
Watch on Video

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.

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 217.789.2070 or email nrgxprts@cwlp.com.