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A bill signed by Governor Blunt this week sets targets for utility companies to increase their use of renewable resources to generate energy. As Michele Skalicky reports, City Utilities is already working to increase the amount of energy from renewable sources.
The law recommends, but does not require, utilities to cut down their use of fossil fuels over the next 13 years.
The law contains no penalties for companies that fall short.
City Utilities spokesman Mark Viguet says CU has been proactive on a number of fronts related to many of the issues in the bill.
He says they've implemented several renewable energy projects and have a request for proposal that's being prepared now for additional renewable energy sources.
A local renewable energy source is the Noble Hill Renewable Energy Center at the city of Springfield's Noble Hill Landfill.
According to Viguet, it's the 1st municipal project in Missouri where methane gas, a natural byproduct of the landfill operation, is captured and used as fuel to make electricity.
As far as other things CU might do in the future, Viguet says our area doesn't lend itself well to extensive solar or wind generation.
Under the new energy bill, utilities are encouraged to get 4% of their energy from renewable sources by 2012. That number rises to 8% in 2015 and 11% in 2020.
Viguet says CU currently gets about 3% of its power from renewable sources, and they'll continue to work to increase that.
Mark Viguet says everyone can take an active role in addressing the problem of global warming. He says customers can take advantage of educational materials at cityutilities.net as well as rebates and financial incentives for making their homes and businesses more energy efficient.
The wide-ranging energy bill signed this week also addresses utility customers. It lets customers producing their own renewable energy get credits from utility companies.