The city of St. Charles has been named Municipality of the Year for its “commitment to reliable and innovative service to its electric customers.”
St. Charles City Administrator Mark Koenen and Electric Services Manager Tom Bruhl accepted the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency’s President & CEO’s award Oct. 17 at the agency’s annual meeting and awards banquet held in Springfield.
The St. Charles Electric Department serves more than 15,500 homes and businesses in the community. The utility is a member of the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency, a joint-action agency made up of 32 municipal electric systems and one rural electric cooperative. Its primary function is to provide wholesale electricity to its members, which they, in turn, supply to their communities’ homes and businesses.
In presenting the award, IMEA Chairman & CEO Kevin Gaden praised the utility for continuing to take steps to upgrade and modernize its electric distribution system in an ongoing initiative to maintain an attractive, competitive position and help ensure future economic growth and development.
Gaden noted that the St. Charles utility’s reliability index performance is in the top quartile and that the Electric Utility of St. Charles scored very high marks for value in the recent citywide customer satisfaction survey.
Since 2009, the city has tapped into more than $340,000 available from IMEA to provide incentives for 21 projects that helped private-sector commercial industrial customers become more energy efficient. St. Charles secured funding from the agency to improve electric efficiency at city facilities, as well. Altogether those electric efficiency projects are estimated to reduce consumption by just less than 6 million kilowatt hours annually.
Earlier this year, St. Charles initiated a systemwide modeling study of its entire electric system to further optimize system performance, maximize employee safety and reduce the risk of electrical accidents and injuries. “The Electric Services Division of St. Charles Public Works worked over 62,000 labor hours in 2013 without a single lost time accident and proudly lives their motto of ‘Safe by Choice, Not Chance,’” Gaden said.
“It is an honor to receive this award,” Bruhl said. “Our team is passionate about safely executing our mission of providing the citizens of St. Charles with reliable, cost-effective electric service. I am proud of the Electric Line, Meter & Communications, and Electric Engineering employees, who are recognized with this award.”
Also at the annual conference, IMEA celebrated 30 years of service to municipalities. St. Charles’ participation in the organization dates back to the work Pat Boyle, former director of the St. Charles Electric Utility for many years, did in the early days of IMEA’s existence.
SOURCE: City of St. Charles press release