Hamilton Utilities Newsletter Second Quarter, 2015 - In This Issue:

EFFICIENCY SMART PERFORMANCE UPDATE

The City of Hamilton's comprehensive energy efficiency and conservation program, Efficiency Smart, is off to a successful start since its February 3, 2015 launch. During the program's first four months, Hamilton electric customers have saved an estimated 485,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) through energy efficiency upgrades. Estimated Total Lifetime Customer Savings associated with these upgrades is $820,986 for commercial customers and $58,543 for residential customers. Total estimated Lifetime Customer Savings through these energy-saving improvements is $879,529. Customer savings through the first four months of the program already exceed the annual Efficiency Smart program participation cost.

 

Efficiency Smart provides Hamilton residential, commercial, and industrial electric customers with technical assistance and financial incentives for energy-saving improvements. Additional information on how the Efficiency Smart program can save you money at your home or business is available by visiting www.efficiencysmart.org.

 

 

MAJOR PROJECT UPDATES

Meldahl Hydroelectric Power Plant

The City of Hamilton and its partner American Municipal Power Inc. (AMP) have begun commissioning activities at the Meldahl Hydroelectric Plant on the Ohio River.  The commissioning process includes inspecting and testing all installed plant operating equipment and systems to ensure proper operation. 

Commercial operation of the 105-megawatt (MW) hydroelectric plant is projected to begin in 2015. The City of Hamilton will operate and maintain the generating facility on behalf of American Municipal Power and participating AMP members.
 
Once Meldahl becomes fully operational, Hamilton owned and operated hydroelectric facilities  will provide local consumers approximately 453 million kWh of clean, renewable energy annually, enough to power approximately 45,000 homes.  Learn More



The Interceptor Sanitary Sewer and Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) projects, designed to help the City meet water quality regulations, continue along the Great Miami River. 

 

Recent project activities include repair of the Arch Street siphon, grading and seeding along the Great Miami River, and completion of the access road that ties into Phase Two of the Great Miami River Recreational Trail project. Read More


 

East High Street Gateway Improvement Project 


The East High Street Gateway Improvement Project, designed to improve traffic flow and safety, and to enhance the appeal of this highly visible entrance into Hamilton, continues. Overhead utility lines will be placed underground as part of the improvement.

 

Recent progress includes construction of the median hardscape, and installation of underground utility conduit and decorative light-emitting diode (LED) streetlights. Periodic lane restrictions will continue throughout the project. Motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes via Heaton Street, Dayton Street, and Maple Avenue during project construction.

 

Follow @EastHighGateway on Twitter for project updates as well as look for more information and additional resources related to the East High Street Gateway Improvement Project on the project webpage here.

 

 

LED Streetlight Master Plan

The City of Hamilton has initiated conversion of its incandescent  high pressure sodium (HPS) and mercury vapor streetlights to light-emitting diode (LED) streetlights. The City plans to replace all incandescent streetlights with LEDs over the next six years. 

LED technology offers a substantial reduction in energy consumption along with improved service. LED streetlights consume approximately one-third of the energy required by incandescent streetlights and last three to four times longer, reducing maintenance costs and improving service. Furthermore, LED technology offers improved lighting quality - colors are more easily distinguished and greater light distribution uniformity results in fewer hotspots and dark areas, and improved driver safety.

 

Through June 2015, approximately 310 incandescent streetlights have been replaced with LED fixtures, resulting in an estimated annual energy savings of 155,516 kWh.


 

Bilstein Boulevard and Hamilton Enterprise Park Electric Improvements


Work has commenced on two improvements designed to help retain and attract jobs to Hamilton while improving vehicle and pedestrian safety. Overhead electric distribution lines are being placed underground in two of the City's commercial/industrial development areas: Bilstein Boulevard south of Symmes Road and Hamilton Enterprise Park between Hamilton-Mason and Tylersville roads. Underground conduit for fiber optic and streetlight cables are also being installed as part of the improvements, along with light-emitting diode (LED) streetlights. 

 

Along Bilstein Boulevard, conduit installation is substantially complete and primary electric junction boxes have been installed. At Hamilton Enterprise Park, conduit installation is complete and streetlight junction boxes are being installed. Both projects are expected to be complete in September 2015. Read More


 

Pole Survey and Assessment


On June 1, 2015, the City of Hamilton Electric Department and its consultant, Alden Systems, began a survey and condition assessment of the City's electric utility poles. Alden Systems will assess the condition of each wooden pole, note items such as missing access plates and exposed wiring on non-wooden poles, and identify electrical safety issues. Information collected through the survey will allow the City to prioritize pole replacements and to address any issues identified during the survey.

 

The survey will include approximately 24,000 poles across the electric utility service area, and is expected to be complete by December 31, 2015. Service to City electric customers will not be impacted by the pole survey.

 

Additionally, Alden Systems staff will collect Global Positioning System (GPS) location data on each pole, attach identification numbers, photograph each pole, and record all pole attachments for use in the Electric Department's Geographic Information System (GIS) and asset management system.

 

During the pole survey, Alden Systems representatives will work along streets and alleys and within the electric easements, including backyard electric easements. Survey vehicles will clearly display Alden Systems and City of Hamilton Contractor identification. Clothing worn by Alden Systems representatives will display the firm's name and "Utility Inspection Contractor." Alden Systems staff will also carry City of Hamilton Contractor cards for identification purposes. 

 

Questions regarding the pole survey and assessment can be directed to Jim Bokeno, Hamilton Electrical Engineer, at 513-785-7223, or via email at bokenoj@ci.hamilton.oh.us.

HAMILTON UTILITIES SIGNS FIRST COMPRESSED NATURAL GAS CONTRACT CUSTOMER
 

Hamilton Utilities recently announced Rumpke, Inc. as its first contract compressed natural gas (CNG) customer at the new public CNG fueling station located at 2220 South Erie Boulevard (Ohio Route 4).

 

As part of the contract, Rumpke agreed to a minimum monthly purchase requirement of 2,600 gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE). The CNG purchase contract has a one-year initial term and can be extended by mutual agreement. 

 

Public Utilities Director Doug Childs stated, "We are excited to partner with Rumpke on this CNG venture. Hamilton and Rumpke are strong proponents of the economic and environmental benefits of natural gas and its use as an alternative fuel source in vehicles. We are continuing to seek opportunities for additional sales of CNG to commercial fleets and individual vehicles." Read More

 

Additional information on the benefits of CNG is available by contacting Field Services Superintendent Mike Gurr at gurrm@ci.hamilton.oh.us or 513-785-7231. 

2014 ANNUAL WATER QUALITY / CONSUMER CONFIDENCE REPORT
 

The City of Hamilton Water Production Division is proud of the quality drinking water it provides and is pleased to present the 2014 Annual Water Quality Report, also known as the Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). In 2014, the City produced 5.28 billion gallons of finished water for local residents, businesses, parks, and fire protection. View Report

 

According to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA), Hamilton's drinking water meets or exceeds all federal and state drinking water standards. In fact, on June 10, 2015 the City received a "certificate of recognition" from the Ohio EPA for exceptional implementation of drinking water source protection strategies. Read More

SMART SUMMER WATERING PRACTICES 
 

Americans are the world's biggest water users, and it is estimated that 50-70% of that water is used on landscaping. Summer water bills often reflect this additional water use. By watering lawns, plants, and shrubs more efficiently, you can reduce your summer utility bills while conserving water. In addition to the tips below, WaterSense, a partnership program with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, provides information on smart water choices that can save money and maintain high environmental standards. Learn More

 

Aerate your lawn periodically.  Holes every six inches allow water to reach r oots rather than  run off the surface.


Adjust your lawn mower deck to a height of two to three inches. Taller grass shades its roots and retains soil moisture better than short grass.  


Leave grass clippings on your lawn to help cool the ground and retain moisture.


Reduce the amount of fertilizer applied during summer months. While fertilizers promote plant growth, they also increase water consumption.


Weed lawns and gardens regularly. Weeds compete with desirable plants for nutrients, light, and water. 


Water your lawn and garden only as needed. Most lawns receive twice as much water as they need. In addition to wasting water, frequent watering promotes unhealthy, shallow root development. 


Water early in the morning to limit water loss due to evaporation. Also avoid watering on windy days.


Water in multiple short sessions rather than a single long session to allow better water absorption and less runoff. 


Place an empty tin can in the watered area to measure the water applied. Three-fourths of an inch to one inch of water is sufficient each time you irrigate.

  

Use drip irrigation to water shrubs, flowers, and vegetable gardens. Less water is lost to evaporation using drip systems than spray systems. 


Apply mulch to gardens and shrubs to reduce evaporation and weed competition. A two- to three-inch layer of mulch is most effective. Organic mulches also improve soil infiltration and water-holding capacity over time. 


Assess landscape watering patterns to minimize spray on sidewalks and paved surfaces, spray blockage by plants or other obstructions, and runoff on slopes or clay soil.


Maximize the value of natural rainfall by capturing and recycling rainwater in barrels or buckets to water plants.  

THE RIGHT TREE IN THE RIGHT PLACE
 

Trees can provide many benefits such as shade, beauty, windbreak, privacy, clean air, noise reduction, wildlife habitat, and increased property values. The key to these benefits is selecting the right tree and planting it in the right place. For example, large deciduous trees (those that lose their leaves seasonally) on the south and west sides of a residence provide cooling shade that can help reduce summer air conditioning bills, but do not obstruct the winter sun that can help warm your home. A lack of trees can leave your home more vulnerable to icy winter winds and higher heating bills. 

 

Planting large trees under utility lines increases the chance for power outages as tree limbs make contact with energized power lines. Planting the right tree in the right place can help reduce your home heating and cooling costs, reduce tree trimming and maintenance costs, and help avoid tree-related electric service interruptions.

 

Consider these factors when planting trees on your property:

 

1. The tree's purpose will impact the suitability of different tree species for shade, aesthetic beauty, wind protection, screening, or other purposes.

 

2. Size and locatioof the tree, including available space for roots and branches, can affect decisions on which species to plant. Available space is often overlooked or misunderstood when deciding what tree to plant. Before planting, identify what the tree will look like and its height as it nears maturity. 

 

3. Crown form or shape varies among species and is another clue to how well the tree will fit your available space, what problems might occur, and how well it may meet your purposes.

 

A RBOR DAY 2015 TREE PLANTING
 
In recognition of Arbor Day 2015, the City of Hamilton Electric Department, an American Public Power Association Tree Power Program participant, coordinated the planting of 15 trees at 550 North Third Street . Pictured below are Andy Weltzer of Lifestyle Landscape Solutions, Hamilton Mayor Pat Moeller, Public Utilities Commissioner Mel Brown, Hamilton Tree Board members Doris Bergen and Ann Coombs, and local children who assisted in the ceremonial tree planting. 

      
LOCAL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT 
 

150 High Street springs back to life

 

The former Elder-Beerman department store at 150 High Street is being transformed into new office and retail space. The building has been vacant since 2009 and after renovations will house STARTEK Hamilton, Joslin Diabetes Center, Jackson's Market and Deli, and InsideOut Studio. STARTEK Hamilton is slated to move into the building in July and will employ an estimated 682 people at its new call center when fully operational. Other tenants anticipate moving into the renovated facility soon after STARTEK.

 

Hamilton Utilities worked closely with representatives of STARTEK and the Hamilton CORE Fund to ensure that required utility services were available in time to meet STARTEK's aggressive remodeling and start-up schedule. Michael Dingeldein of the Hamilton CORE Fund wrote to Hamilton Utilities representatives, "I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for the extraordinary work that the Hamilton Electric Department has done in conjunction with the STARTEK project. We laid a very ambitious (almost impossible) deadline on all of you to get the primary service changed over and as of today, it appears we will be meeting every single milestone of that challenge. I had the opportunity to meet Chad Carlson, the President and CEO of STARTEK, yesterday and he commented that they had never experienced such a comprehensive and seamless relationship with a community providing help with one of their projects. If anyone thinks that owning our own utilities doesn't bring immeasurable value to what we can bring to the table, this should serve as one more empirical example of proof."

 

To learn more about employment opportunities at STARTEK Hamilton, and to apply for a job, click here. 

NEED ASSISTANCE FROM THE CITY?
 
Utilities Customer Service   513.785.7100
New Service, Move In / Move Out, Billing Inquiries
 
Power Outage          513.785.7550
Gas Leak or Odor   911
Water Leak              513.785.7550
Streets & Sewers   513.785.7550
D o ug   Childs
Public Utiliti es Director / General Manager
345 High Street, Hamilton, Ohio
513.785.7200  
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