Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Customer Photos

Donna Knicely and Bill Jordan shared this photo of their gas log fireplace. "Santa came to our house and left his hat under our tree, right next to our wonderful gas logs. The gingersnaps that were baked in our gas oven were long gone by the time we got up on Christmas morning."

Monday, December 12, 2011

City hosts watershed project in Bellemeade

A Community Open House was held Dec. 13 to share ideas for improving the creek and neighborhood walking routes in the Bellemeade neighborhood. The Green Infrastructure Center has partnered with the City of Richmond, Richmond Public Schools and local community leaders to develop a concept plan for improving the creek and walking routes in the Bellemeade neighborhood.

“This pilot project aims to integrate the schoolshed and watershed, by identifying strategies that improve the creek, but also provide amenities for the students and residents living in the neighborhood,” said Karen Firehock, Director of the Green Infrastructure Center.

The project builds off of the growing momentum around the new sustainably designed Oak Grove Bellemeade Elementary School expected to open in early 2013. During a day-long working session held Oct. 27, city and school representatives, community leaders and students of the future school, identified priority walking routes to the new school, along with strategies to improve the health of the creek that could benefit the neighborhood residents.

Jannie Laursen, principal of the new Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary School say, “We envision that the new school will embrace the adjacent creek as a tremendous learning opportunity for the students, and we hope to see the school become a real center for the Bellemeade neighborhood.”

The highlight of the event was a presentation from local 5th graders who shared their ideas about what was needed for the creek and their neighborhood.

The outcome of the project will be a watershed concept plan that will include specific actions to enhance the creek and neighborhood health.

“This process supports our parallel stormwater master planning process,” said Michelle Virts, DPU's Stormwater Utility deputy director. “We anticipate that this community-based concept plan will help us prioritize capital projects to reduce flooding and improve the creek in the neighborhood.” 

For more information, contact James (JJ) Minor at (804) 646-0587.

Reduction in City's Purchased Gas Cost

The city announced Dec. 9 a nearly 8 percent decrease in the PGC (purchased gas cost) paid by the city’s natural gas customers. Effective with bills issued in January 2012, the PGC will decrease from $.650 to $.600 per Ccf (100 cubic feet of natural gas).

For example, the average customer who uses 70 Ccf per month will pay approximately $84.64 compared to a current price of $88.14. This is the second reduction this year and the fifth reduction over the last two years in the natural gas commodity.

The city of Richmond passes along the cost of the natural gas it purchases to its customers, dollar for dollar, without any markup. Customers will see an overall 4 percent decrease in their total bill.

City of Richmond natural gas bill components include the PGC cost, the customer charge and the distribution charge. City analysts periodically review and adjust rates up or down based on market and weather conditions.

The city offers free information and programs year-round to help customers manage their utility bills and seek assistance before bills become unmanageable. The city encourages customers to enroll in the Equal Monthly Payment Plan (EMPP), a program designed to spread payments out evenly each month or to apply for the MetroCare program, a heating bill payment assistance program for those who qualify. More information about these programs is available by calling 646-7000 or visiting DPU’s website.