RMU News (177)
Residents can expect to see a great deal of activity along the IL Route 251 corridor between IL Route 38 and Flagg Road in the coming months as Rochelle Municipal Utilities begins Phase 1 of its electrical system infrastructure upgrade.
The five-phase project, Rochelle 5KV Conversion, will increase the efficiency of the power of the lines by limiting system loss and increasing capacities from 5,000 volts to 13,500 volts. "The City of Rochelle began electrical operations in 1893 as City Light and Power and much of the infrastructure we are replacing was built in the early 1920s," said Joe Orlikowski, RMU Superintendent of Electric Operations. "Over time, the lower voltage results in more system loss and, as you can imagine, the average household demand for electricity is much greater today."
In addition to the residential demand, Rochelle industry also continues to grow."The City of Rochelle's load growth has gone up 3 percent each year for the last three years," said Jeff Sartorius, RMU Assistant Superintendent of Electric Operations. "Before the economic downturn, it was 7.5 percent each year." The anticipated five-year project partitions the city into five phases, each to be completed in subsequent years.
"If the City keeps its current funding commitments, the project will take five years to complete – approximately one phase per year," Orlikowski said. Some areas will receive new wires, either overhead or underground, and others will receive utility pole replacements. Phase 1, estimated to cost $1.4 million, is scheduled to commence construction on May 5 and be completed in early October of this year.
"We can't upgrade the entire city at the same time," Orlikowski said. "We chose to begin on the north end as the State of Illinois is planning to widen Route 251
to five lanes between Route 38 and Flagg Road. We need to install our underground infrastructure before that happens."
Cost estimates for the remaining phases are $1.5 million for Phase 2; $1.5 - $1.8 million for Phase 3; $2 million for Phase 4; and $1.2 million for Phase 5. The differences in the cost of the phases are primarily due to the necessity of placing some of the upgraded infrastructure underground, as will be the case with the downtown business district. The cost is four times greater to go underground.
"Rates will not go up due to this infrastructure upgrade,"Orlikowski said. "That's not to say residents won't see a rate increase for other reasons. What forces us to raise rates is the power we purchase – those rates may go up."
Rochelle Municipal Utilities wants the community to be aware that there will be many utility workers in the residential neighborhoods, mostly Monday through Friday during business hours of 7 a.m. through 5 p.m, however,some Saturday work may also take place especially if weather delays happen.
"This is a massive job and safety is the big concern for me," Orlikowski said. "We'll be in neighborhoods and kids need to be warned to stay away from the equipment. There will be a lot of activity and big trucks. Parents, please keep a close watch on your children."
Residents in Phase 1 should also be aware that construction workers will periodically be on their property marking the placement of underground infrastructure and upgrading the system. Residents are asked to please leave the flag markers in their yard until the work is completed.
"We know it's a pain to mow around the flags, but it should only be one or two week sections at a time and workers will remove the flags when they are done," Sartorius said. "If the flags are missing, JULIE will have to locate again, which will delay the project and increase the costs."
The construction contract is scheduled to be awarded on April 14. "RMU will announce the name of the construction company when it awards the contract. Residents will be able to identify the workers by the name on their trucks in addition to the hard hats and reflective vests they will be wearing. These workers should also be able to produce a company I.D. if asked," Orlikowski added.
The first portion of Phase 1 will be prep work and laying the underground cable. The second portion will be installation and cutting over to increase voltage.
"There will be coordinated outages during the installation portion of the project," Orlikowski said. "We will
give residential customers notice a couple of days in advance and businesses a one-week notice of the planned outage as we transfer service."
Rochelle Municipal Utilities, local people providing local services, thanks the community in advance for their cooperation and understanding during this important electrical infrastructure upgrade.
"We've gotten our money's worth out of our old system," Orlikowski said. "It's time to improve our efficiency and capacity for our current customers and prepare for the future.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014, RMU Water Operators will repair a broken water main at 108 Shirley Avenue. The work will begin at approximately 9:00 a.m. RMU does not anticipate any water service interruptions, however customers in the area may experience low water pressure and discolored water during the repairs. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the RMU Customer Service office at 815-562-4155.
Friday, March 7, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. the Boil Order was lifted. Customers have been advised that the water is safe to drink.
Thursday, March 6, 2014 RMU Water Operators will repair the water main break at 303 8th Avenue. The work will begin at approximately 9:30 a.m. and as a result of the work, a Precautionary Boil Order has been issued.
Customers residing at 221 and 303 8th Avenue, 311 6th Avenue and the 600, 700 and 800 blocks of North 3rd Street have been affected. As a reminder during the precautionary boil order, all customers in the affected area should boil all water used for drinking and cooking for a minimum of 5 minutes before using. Customers will be notified once the boil order is lifted and the water is safe to drink.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the RMU Customer Service office at 815-562-4155.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014, RMU Water Operators will be excavating a frozen pipe in the 100 block of First Avenue in order to restore water service. There will be several utility service vehicles in the area and vehicular traffic could be impacted. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the RMU Customer Service office at 815-562-4155.
Monday, February 24, 2014, RMU Water Operators will repair the water main break in the 600 block of Woolf Court. The work will begin at approximately 9:00 a.m. RMU does not anticipate any service interruptions, but customers in the area may experience low water pressure and discolored water while the Operators make the repairs. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the RMU Customer Service office at 815-562-4155.
RMU is warning customers about a possible telephone scam. The phone calls appear to be part of a scam designed to obtain personal information and/or money from customers. The calls are not authorized by RMU.
In the reported instances, customers are told they are behind on their electric bill and must make a payment immediately to the caller or face disconnection of their electric service.
RMU is urging customers not to respond to these fake calls. Customers who have received such calls can report them to the Attorney General Office's Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-386-5438 or the RMU Customer Service office at 815-562-4155.
RMU wants to warn customers to be aware of these calls and suggests the following tips if such a call is received:
• Never reveal your credit card and/or bank information to anyone unless you are certain the contact is legitimate. Know who you are dealing with.
• If the caller insists you complete a transaction, hang up immediately. RMU representatives do not conduct business in this manner.
RMU and the Rochelle Fire Department ask residents to clear the area around all fire hydrants. Snow accumulation and the results of snow clearing with shovels, snow blowers and plows can completely cover or restrict access to fire hydrants.
Blocked hydrants mean slower response to extinguish fires which can result in catastrophic consequences if firefighters have to spend time locating a buried hydrant, according to Fire Chief Johnson.
RMU and the Rochelle Fire Department ask anyone with a fire hydrant on or near their property to help by removing any accumulated snow, so we can access them in an emergency.
The hydrants should be cleared of snow on all sides to insure they are visible from the road and easily accessible to connect a fire hose to it. Make that hydrant part of your shoveling and snow clearing routine. It will only take a few extra minutes and it’s a quick and easy way to help us and your neighbors.
We at RMU and the Rochelle Fire Department strive to provide quality customer service in all areas of our operation. If you have questions or concerns, please call the RMU Customer Service office at 815-562-4155.
Cold weather and wind chills are here. This means we can expect frozen water pipes and water damage if exposed areas aren’t properly insulated. Water expands as it freezes which can cause pipes to break. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those exposed to the severe cold, like water supply pipes in unheated interior areas; basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, or even kitchen cabinets. Check for water supply lines in your home that are located in unheated areas. Both the hot and cold water pipes should be insulated. Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a “pipe sleeve” or installing UL-listed “heat tape,” “heat cable,” or similar materials on exposed pipes.
Take preventative action and when the weather is very cold, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe, even at a trickle, helps prevent the pipes from freezing.
If you suspect that your pipes are frozen, keep the faucet open as you treat the frozen pipe. As the frozen area begins to melt, water will flow through and help melt ice in the pipe. Apply heat to the section of pipe by using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer or portable space heater. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater. Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
We at RMU strive to provide quality customer service in all areas of our operation. If you have questions or concerns, please call the RMU Customer Service office at 815-562-4155.
Tuesday, February 11th, the RMU Water Operators will be repairing a water main break on Sixth Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets. The repair work will begin at about 9:00 a.m. RMU does not anticipate any service interruptions, but customers in the area may experience low water pressure and discolored water during the repair. The water main is in the curb line, so the street will be impacted. If you have any questions, please contact the RMU Customer Service office at 815-562-4155.
RMU Customers Can Take Simple Steps to Conserve Energy
Rochelle, IL – 1/28/2014
RMU is continuously monitoring the increased energy requirements for heating and other equipment usage during the cold weather. While there is no immediate need for conservation, the demand for electricity is expected to be highest Tuesday (1/28/2014), especially between 6 am until 10 am and 5 pm until 9 pm.
Electricity customers can take simple steps to help conserve energy:
- Set thermostats lower than usual, if health permits.
- Postpone using major electric appliances such as stoves, dishwashers and clothes dryers until mid-day or after 9:00 pm, when the demand for electricity decreases.
- Turn off electric lights and appliances that you do not need or are not using.
Conserving electricity will help ensure adequate power supplies for everyone.
Today, December 13th, while RMU Water Operators are reparing the water main in the 1100 block of McConaughy Avenue, the water service will be interrupted and a Precautionary Boil Order will be issued.
The water service will be interrputed at approximately 11:30 a.m. and will last until the repairs are made. RMU customers in the 1000 and 1100 blocks of Meadow Lane will be affected.
You will be notified when the precautionary boil order is issued and as a reminder, customers should boil all water used for drinking and cooking for a minimum of five minutes.
Customers will be notified once the boil order is lifted. If you have questions or concerns, please contact RMU at 815-562-4155.
On Friday, December 13th, RMU Water Operators will repair a broken water main in the 1100 block of McConaughy Avenue. The work will begin at 9:00 a.m. We do not anticipate any water service interruptions, but customers in the area may experience discolored water and low water pressure during the repair. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the RMU Customer Service office at 815-562-4155.
November 18, 2013
**** PUBLIC NOTICE ****
Utility Advisory Board Chairman, Robert Elliott announced that the Utility Advisory Board Meeting that was scheduled for Wednesday, November 20th has been changed to Wednesday, December 4th, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. at the RMU Technology Center.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013, RMU Water Operators will be repairing the water main at 104 Janet Avenue. The work will begin at approximately 9:00 a.m. RMU does not anticipate any water service interruptions, but customers in the area may experience low water pressure and discolored water during the repair. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the RMU Customer Service office at 815-562-4155.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RMU and Nicor Partner on
Combo Incentive for Furnace and AC Central unit upgrade
Rochelle, IL – Customers of Rochelle Municipal Utilities who have gas service from Nicor Gas are eligible for rebates up to $950 for the installation of a high-efficiency furnace with a high-efficiency central air conditioner. Offer valid until May 31, 2014.
High-Efficiency Furnace Rebate from Nicor Gas
Central Air Conditioner from the City of Rochelle
> 92% AFUE
> 14.5 SEER
> 95% AFUE
> 97% AFUE
AFUE: Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, SEER: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating
RMU is continuously looking at potential ways to reduce cost of energy to residents of Rochelle and surrounding areas.
Monday, October 7, 2013, RMU Water Operators will repair a water main break at Cleveland and Phyllis Avenue. The repair project will begin at approximately 9:00 a.m. We do not anticipate any water service interruptions, but customers in the area may experience low water pressure and discolored water while the operators make the repairs. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the RMU Customer Service office at 815-562-4155.
Wednesday, October 2nd, RMU Water Operators will repair a broken water main at Wood Street and Quarry Road. The repair work will begin around 8:00 a.m. We do not anticipate any service interruptions, but customers in the area may experience low water pressure and discolored water during the repair. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the RMU Customer Service office at 815-562-4155.
Rochelle, IL - The Rochelle Energy Center has been approved by Green-E.org as a source of renewable energy credits.
What is Green-E? Green-E is the nation's leading independent consumer protection program for the sale of renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions in the retail market.
Green-E offers certification and verification of renewable energy and greenhouse gas mitigation products. It is a program of Center for Resource Solutions. For more information, go to www.green-e.org.
RMU is continuously looking at potential ways to reduce carbon emissions as well as ways to create clean energy such as solar power and alike.