BPU looks into saving electric costs

EAST LIVERPOOL – The Board of Public Utilities is looking at electric aggregate programs that could save electricity costs and also generate additional revenue.

Utilities Director Bob Disch reported to the board last week that he has been in contact with two companies interested in representing the utilities department.

One company has offered to assist in soliciting quotes for electric rates from various sources as well as enrolling the city in a program that would result in fees for agreeing not to use generators at the wastewater and water plants during peak electrical demand periods.

Disch explained that there are periods every summer when AEP expect a large load on the power grid. In order to reduce the demand, the company gives notice to those entities enrolled in the program and then uses their generators for that period of time.

In the past several years, with AEP, there have been one or two incidents per year, each lasting no longer than four hours, according to Disch.

In return, entities that enroll in the program receive an annual fee based on generator size, whether or not the electric company ever uses the generator.

In the city’s case, this could mean about $6,000 for the wastewater plant annually and $16,000 for the water plant annually, with Disch saying that revenue could be used to obtain maintenance agreements on the generators.

No action was taken by the board on the issue.

Board members did agree to a plan outlined by Disch to trade a used backhoe he dubbed “Frankenhoe” to the sewage department since the water department has purchased a new one.

Since a trade-in of the backhoe could have netted $22,000, Disch proposed that $18,000 in sewage department funds be earmarked for a concrete floor and doors for the new pole building at Thompson Avenue in exchange for the backhoe.

Water Superintendent Tim Clark told the board the department has been plagued by water line breaks and repairs, with Laura Avenue the “latest tale of woe.”

A leak there has left an open hole that Clark estimated will cost between $6,000 and $7,000 to repair, requiring two days of work.

Otherwise, he noted, breaks have left the department with about 74 holes to patch on city streets, and he asked whether consideration should be given to hiring an outside company to do the patching.

Board members asked him to obtain some quotes for the work first.

Disch said the water crew has worked “tremendous hours” this winter due to breaks and did “a wonderful job” that is appreciated.

Bids were open for the annual chemical and supply purchases, and the board took those under advisement.