​Resolve to save in 2020 and beyond

Published: 1/15/2020  7:00 AM
It’s a new decade and a new year, and that means new resolutions. This year, consider a home energy and water efficiency resolution. Whether you are a homeowner or renter, there are a number of strategies you can adopt to lower your utilities bill ...



​Engaging youth in the future of energy

Published: 1/14/2020  1:23 PM
As a municipal utility, community input – from all ages – is key to the success of our energy planning. After all, our Energy Vision concludes with the statement “to enhance our quality of life for generations to come.” Today’s youth are our future ...



Resolve to be environmentally friendly in 2020

Published: 1/10/2020  2:23 PM
​While January is the time for many to reflect on the past year and set goals for the months ahead, consider some eco-friendly resolutions this year. These practices promote sustainability and reduce overall environmental impact. In some cases, thes ...



Saving enough water for 5,000 Olympic Pools

Published: 12/19/2019  3:25 PM
​City Council voted this afternoon to implement new Water-Wise Rules in Colorado Springs starting in 2020.  These rules are intended to encourage the wise use of water on an everyday basis, not just during times of drought or periods of water shorta ...



Exploring ways to save customers money while benefiting the environment

Published: 12/17/2019  4:47 PM
Along with Xcel Energy, Black Hills Colorado Electric and Platte River Power Authority, we announced earlier this week plans to join the Western Energy Imbalance Market (WEIM), operated by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), to save ...



Public invited to open house regarding North Union Boulevard

Published: 12/13/2019  12:17 PM
​Utility and resurfacing work scheduled to begin January 2020 We need to replace an aging water line under Union Boulevard to enhance reliability of the water system and prepare for the City’s 2C curb/gutter replacement and road paving. An open h ...



Happy Holi-Ways-to-Pay

Published: 12/10/2019  11:23 AM
In the midst of shopping, traveling, choir concerts and planning holiday parties, the last thing you need to worry about is finding your Utilities bill and remembering to pay it. We realize your life is hectic, that’s why we offer eBilling and other ...



​New solar array now powering Colorado Springs

Published: 12/6/2019  4:37 PM
Get a bird's eye view of our latest renewable energy project, the Grazing Yak Solar Project. Consisting of more than 119,000 panels on 278 acres near Calhan, Colo., Grazing Yak will provide 35 megawatts of electricity to our customers. That is enoug ...



Would you drink the fat?

Published: 11/25/2019  11:00 AM
What’s your favorite part of the traditional Thanksgiving meal? The turkey? The stuffing? The pecan pie? (My problem is I love it all.) What’s the worst part of the Thanksgiving meal? Cleaning up! After spending half the day preparing and then an ...



2020 Budget & Rates Approved

Published: 11/12/2019  4:39 PM
​Today, Colorado Springs City Council approved our budget and customer rates for 2020. The 2020 budget is $954.4 million, slightly higher (1.9 percent) than the 2019 approved budget appropriation. "The 2020 budget supports our mission to offe ...



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April begins busy season for locators and landscaping projects   

  by  Steve B.  on  4/23/2019

Locator in YardAs the weather gets warmer, many of us are probably planning spring landscaping projects. Chances are these projects will require digging, either with a shovel or something more powerful. So, it’s no coincidence that April is National Safe Digging Month and April 22-26 is Locator Safety Awareness Week.

Safe Digging Month is intended to remind us to call 8-1-1 or click at co811.org at least 72 hours before any excavating project -- even those that only involve hand shovels -- to have buried utility lines marked. Not taking these simple steps can put lives at risk or jeopardize our pocketbooks with large fines.

Whenever we contact 811, carefully-trained specialists – called locators – are dispatched to our address. That’s why April 22-26 brings focus to the dedicated individuals who help make our digging projects safe.

Colorado Springs Utilities employs 22 full-time, in-house locators who undergo more than three years of training to help keep you, your neighbors and themselves safe. In all, these 22 locators respond to approximately 72,000 locating requests annually across the city.

With a high-volume of work that includes state-mandated response times and enormous safety implications, it’s easy to wonder what motivates someone to become a locator.

“Many people are drawn to the locating profession because of a desire to work autonomously and outdoors,” says Fred Hankinson, utilities locating supervisor. “Our locators are also tremendously committed to the safety of our customers and employees, so despite the high volume of work and the stresses that go along with that, they’re a group that fully embraces the role.”

Springs Utilities locators exclusively mark underground natural gas, electric, water, wastewater and fiber optic lines owned and maintained by the organization. Cable, phone and other underground utilities are marked by private locating contractors and are unaffiliated with Springs Utilities.

According to Hankinson, the benefits of having an in-house locating team for Springs Utilities’ owned and maintained infrastructure cannot be overstated.

“Having our own locating team enables us to incorporate a more intensive and hands-on training system, to include a dedicated locating trainer,” says Hankinson. “Our locating team also has an inherent pride and ownership of our infrastructure, and maintain close relationships with all of our departments. Having these relationships and possessing this organizational knowledge are critical factors for our team to effectively and safely serve a large and complex four-service utility.”

According to Shelly Dornick, damage prevention supervisor, customers can help locators in two primary ways.

“Obviously, we want customers to contact 811 before any digging project. It’s free and convenient, and well worth the few minutes it takes to request the locates,” says Dornick. “Also, homeowners should remember that locators will need access to utility service meters and should have gates unlocked and pets secured until locates are complete.”

 
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