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Citizens Exceeds Savings Goals of Utility Transfer

Citizens Energy Group is achieving more than $100 million in annual savings since acquiring the community’s water and wastewater utilities in 2011. Cumulative savings from the utility transfer are about $329 million.

Efficiency savings will help hold down future rate increases, which will be necessary to finance badly needed improvements in the water and wastewater systems. As Citizens achieves savings, we are making process changes and investments that are improving safety, customer service, system reliability, environmental protection, water supply management and supplier diversity.

Citizens is improving the way it designs and builds system improvement projects, including the Dig Indy Tunnel system. These value engineering efforts are providing savings, improving system reliability, while keeping Citizens on schedule to comply with a federal consent decree to nearly eliminate sewer overflows to area waterways by the year 2025. Consent decree projects are below the original budget, while producing better results for the environment.

Customer service improvements include a combined gas, water, and wastewater bill for most customers, combined monthly meter reading, an improved website with new self-service options, and more convenient payment options such as online billing for all customers. 

Safety results are also being enhanced. Diligent inspection and maintenance of fire hydrants and designated hydrants for high volume users is leading to better hydrant reliability. A new pipeline locating vendor is providing better performance resulting in a 50 percent reduction in third party damage to utility facilities during 2014 while providing savings of about $900,000.

Implementing a more efficient procurement and materials management process is yielding savings, while keeping the utility on track to achieve supplier diversity goals. From August 2011 until the end of 2014, Citizens spent more than $300 million with diverse suppliers.

Proactive water and wastewater pipe replacement and pipeline rehabilitation efforts are reducing water and wastewater system failures. Fewer system failures will reduce repair costs, inconvenience to customers, loss of valuable water, and costly sewer backups.

Better processes related to water flow in the Central Canal, and releases from Morse and Geist Reservoirs are ensuring Citizens can deliver water more efficiently to customers during periods of high demand.