Press Release - Department of Public Works
The COVID-19 outbreak has affected the nation in a myriad of unimaginable ways. Unfortunately, the electric utility industry was not exempt from feeling the strain of the temporary halt to the economy brought on by the efforts to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The City of Red Bud is committed to continue to offer affordable and reliable electric power, despite the unprecedented challenges of this time. You may notice your electric bills during this period seem higher than average, and you may be wondering about the underlying cause for the increase. The two main factors are decreased system demand, and increased residential usage.
In March and April and continuing into May, overall system electrical usage dropped dramatically. This is because of the necessary closing of factories, businesses and early closing of schools as a result of COVID-19, combined with greatly reduced weather-related electric use, thanks to abnormally mild temperatures throughout April and May. Our utility’s fixed costs (related to things like transmission and distribution, operation of generation assets, equipment and maintenance costs etc.) remained the same, but utilities had dramatically lower energy sales with which to generate revenues to pay the bills. With fewer sales, the unit cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) rises. A good analogy for this would be to imagine four friends deciding to share the costs of carpooling to work. If the monthly cost were $400, each person would pay $100 per month. If two of the four people leave the group for the month, then the remaining two people would have to pay more ($200 each) to cover the costs. When the two missing people returned to the group, then the cost per person would return to normal. The same goes for the electric industry. With businesses temporarily closed due to COVID-19, and combined with a drop in weather-related energy demand, the fixed costs are spread over fewer energy sales, resulting in an increased proportion of these costs distributed to each customer.
In late June and through July and August, temperatures soared, and along with the increase in temperatures, residential demand increased as everyone kicked their air conditioners into overdrive. But thanks to the uncertainty provided by COVID-19, many businesses remain closed, or at reduced hours and personnel/customer capacity and the demand has not yet fully returned. (To reference the above analogy, one person has gotten back into the car, but we’re still not back to a full carpool.) Many people are still working from home, which is causing residential energy use to increase (computers for work and school, daytime air conditioning, other appliances not typically running during the day during normal conditions, etc.) Your energy use has gone up, but the cost per kilowatt-hour remains slightly above average because the fixed costs associated with running the electric utility aren’t being shared by the businesses, schools, factories and other large users that remain closed or on reduced capacity.
As the summer temperatures fade into fall, and businesses continue to move toward normal operations, any variance in your bill should begin to return to normal again as well. We’re all in this together, and we will continue to do everything we can to offer affordable and reliable electric service as we continue to navigate the challenges of this unprecedented time. We also recognize that many of you may face financial hardships during these extraordinary times, and we want to help. We have always worked closely with our customers experiencing hardship regarding any issues with their service or paying their bill. This was the case before the pandemic – and it will remain our approach moving forward. If you are having difficulty, please see us at city hall, or contact us directly at 618-282-2315. We will work with your personal situation and come up with a solution to ensure that you can fulfill your personal responsibility for your utility balance.
Monroe and Randolph Counties Launch Enterprise Zone!
The USDA has released a resource guide related to COVID-19. The guide includes resources for a wide varieties of operations including for-profit businesses, local governments, healthcare, libraries, school districts, agriculture producers, etc.
Access the guide HERE.
A Message from the IL Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
CITY OF RED BUD NOTIFICATION SYSTEM
You can now register to have text messages sent to your mobile number instead of receiving a phone call. Please contact Police Chief John Brittingham to update your information.
The printable form can be found HERE.
If you are a City of Red Bud resident or utility customer, and would like to receive notifications related to the operations, events, and news regarding the city, please complete the form below and return to City Hall - either by dropping it off at the office, mailing it to 220 East Market Street, Red Bud, IL or by dropping it in the payment box at the south end of the City Hall parking lot.
PROPERTY CLEAN UP AND COMPOST
When cleaning up this Spring, the City of Red Bud offers the following solutions for your clean up efforts:
1. Compost Bags
The city sells bags at City Hall at Red Bud IGA, and at the Utility Plant for $.75 each. The cost of curb side pick up by the City is included in the cost of the bag.
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays burning of yard waste ONLY is permitted from sunrise to sunset. Burning is NOT permitted in city streets and gutters. If burning, please be respectful of neighboring properties.
If you choose to burn yard waste and compost materials, please comply with local ordinances regulating this activity.
1. Burning is only permitted on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from sunrise to sunset.
2. Burning in city streets and gutters is NOT permitted.
3. Burning of anything other than yard waste and compost materials is prohibited.
4. Please try to be respectful if a neighbor has windows open or if a nearby business is hosting
an outdoor event.