About the Trust
In 1887, the forefathers of Indianapolis came up with the idea of operating a natural gas company as a Public Charitable Trust, solely for the benefit of customers and the community. Today, this Trust lives on as Citizens Energy Group, a broad-based utility service company, distributing natural gas, water, and wastewater services to more than 1 million customers, and operating one of the nation's largest district steam and chilled water cooling systems. At Citizens, our vision is fulfilling the promise of the Trust to serve our customers and communities with unparalleled excellence and integrity.
History of the Trust
Citizens Energy Group was founded in 1887 as Consumers Gas Trust at a time when the city began to use natural gas drawn from nearby gas production fields. City leaders such as Thomas Morris, Colonel Eli Lilly and Benjamin Harrison created a structure known as a Public Charitable Trust to protect the gas company assets from takeover by monopolies like Standard Oil and from political patronage. Consumers Gas Trust became Citizens Gas in 1906 when the city purchased the majority of the company's assets. It became Citizens Gas & Coke Utility in 1935 when the City purchased all of the company's assets. In 2008, the company was renamed Citizens Energy Group to reflect recent strategic changes in the company including closure of Indianapolis Coke. As long as it fulfills its mission, Citizens cannot be sold. The legal operating name for the Trust is The Board of Directors for Utilities of the Department of Public Utilities of the City of Indianapolis (“The Board”).
In 2001, Citizens acquired the Thermal Energy System to control and operate the steam assets and chilled water assets, from Indianapolis Power & Light Company ("IPL") and commenced operation of the Thermal Energy System as a separate system from the Gas Utility Distribution System.
In 2007, Citizens discontinued operations of the Manufacturing Division consisting of the coke oven batteries and related facilities.
On August 26, 2011 Citizens and the City of Indianapolis completed the transfer of the community's water and wastewater utilities to Citizens. As a result of the acquisition, the water and wastewater systems, which billed customers under the Indianapolis Water name, are now being operated as Citizens Water.
Citizens Water will also assume responsibility for the City's Long Term Control Plan, which is mandated under a Consent Decree with the U.S. EPA to minimize combined sewer overflows into the White River and other area streams. In addition, Citizens Water will continue the City's Septic Tank Elimination Program (STEP), which is bringing sewer service to areas of Marion County, where failing septic tanks are jeopardizing public health and the environment.
Citizens Water has assumed operations of the water utility from Veolia Water Indianapolis (Veolia), and nearly all former Veolia employees are now Citizens employees. Citizens Water has assumed the City's contract with United Water to operate the wastewater system.