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Monday, October 08, 2012

Tallahassee Utilities Named Number One in the Nation

Harry Note - In Tallahassee - we get one utility bill a month. It itemizes your costs for electricity - water - sewer - natural gas - fire protection - garbage - and surface runoff water. Gas - water - electricity each have smart meters that monitor all of your energy usage. Your bill has charts showing how much you have used - and it compares it to average usage - and your usage for the previous year. You can view your usage online - and also the usage at other addresses.

From the Democrat - 

Julian Velasquez quickly saw the perks to having the No. 1 public utility in America stationed in his city Sunday afternoon.
The 22-year-old Florida State engineering student said he was uncertain about what he wanted to do with his degree prior to seeing what is offered at the Arvah B. Hopkins Power Plant on Geddie Road in southwest Tallahassee. After an “amazing tour” and spending some time with other engineering students, Velasquez said he can see himself working as an engineer with a power plant someday.
“It was more than I expected,” he said, following his tour. “We got a private tour with the head engineer. There was a Q&A for more than a half hour. This made me realize what I’m studying is what I actually want to study.”
Velasquez and his friends were among hundreds to walk through the Hopkins Power Plant on Sunday in honor of Tallahassee being named the top public utility in America by the American Public Power Association.
The city’s Smart Grid system and long list of utility offerings, such as Nights & Weekends rate, double rebates and e+ Online, helped Tallahassee beat out more than 2,000 small to large utility providers nationwide serving more than 46 million customers. In addition, the city’s Neighborhood REACH was named 2012 APPA Energy Innovator Award.
Event coordinator and plant manager Clark Sheehan said being named the best out of all of them is a “once in a lifetime” opportunity.
The event featured tours, entertainment, food and demonstrations by the Tallahassee Fire Department and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office. Sheehan said there were 451 people in attendance during the first hour of the event and he hoped for more than 1,200 by the end.
“This shows we’re doing things right environmentally with our environmental programs,” he said. “We’re one of the cleanest utilities in the country, and we’re very proud of that. This shows our citizens, who are our owners, they’ve got something to be proud of.”
Jennifer Hill, safety administrator for the city of Tallahassee, said it’s rare people can see power plants because of safety hazards. She said she was pleased people got the chance to get close to the plant and see how it works.
Tallahassee has one of the safest plants in the nation – Hill said it has been 3,450 days since the last work-related incident occurred in the plant.
“I think everybody loves an opportunity to come out and see what a power plant is like,” she said. “it’s just a really neat thing to be a part of. It’s a great opportunity to come out and see everything the city does for the public.”

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