Columbus Water & Light has earned a Smart Energy Provider designation from the American Public Power Association for demonstrating commitment to and proficiency in energy efficiency, distributed generation, and environmental initiatives that support a goal of providing low-cost, quality, safe, and reliable electric service. Chris Van Dokkumburg, Planning Analyst at Holland Board of Public Works and Chair of the Energy Services Committee in Michigan presented the designations on Oct. 29 during the association’s annual Customer Connections Conference held in New Orleans.
Columbus Water & Light has a history of setting and achieving aggressive energy efficiency goals. In 2007, the utility created a resolution to reduce energy use within city and utility facilities by 10% by 2017. When 2017 came, Columbus had surpassed their goal and reduced electric use by 23%.
The utility’s energy efficiency reach goes beyond public facilities, offering many programs to help their customers also reduce energy use. They collaborate with Wisconsin’s energy efficiency program Focus on Energy, matching many of the monetary incentives. Columbus Water & Light also provides incentives and assistance for ENERGY STAR certified appliances, shade trees, air conditioner tune-ups, and new construction design assistance and grants. All of these programs and incentives help the community of Columbus save energy.
The SEP designation, which lasts for two years, recognizes public power utilities for demonstrating leading practices in four key disciplines: smart energy program structure; energy efficiency and distributed energy programs; environmental and sustainability initiatives; and the customer experience. This is the first year the association has offered the SEP designation. Columbus Water & Light joins more than 60 public power utilities nationwide that received the inaugural SEP designation.
“This designation highlights utilities that are really stepping up to deliver their customers top-notch programs and services,” said Van Dokkumburg. “These utilities are going beyond ‘keeping the lights on,’ and their communities should be proud.”
“We’re honored to be recognized for our efforts to support our community’s responsible energy use,” said Michelle Kaltenberg, Co-Superintendent of Columbus Water & Light. “We take a lot of pride in the programs we offer that help our customers save money and reduce our collective footprint on the environment. It’s encouraging to be recognized as a best-of-breed utility when it comes to smart energy.”
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