Citizens Energy Launches Lead Service Line Replacement Program

Citizens Energy Group announcement it would launch a multi-year program to replace thousands of customer-owned lead service lines.

The company said it received an order from the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission authorizing it to begin a five-year, $22.7 million effort to replace customer-owned lead service lines in approximately 2,500 households.

“We are excited to launch our Main Service Line Replacement Program,” said Citizens Energy President and CEO Jeffrey Harrison. “Citizens does not have active lead water mains, and this program is designed to eliminate any customer-owned lead plumbing between the water main and the customer’s home. This program will help minimize the risk of lead exposure for customers using these older piping materials. »

Citizens Energy Group said between 55,000 and 75,000 homes and businesses built before 1950 in the Indianapolis area may have lead service lines or plumbing. Completely replacing these customer-owned lines would cost about $490 million, according to the company.

This effort is part of a recent update to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s lead and copper rule, which requires all water utilities to develop lead replacement programs. lead service by October 16, 2024.

Citizens Energy said the program would cost most customers an additional 50 to 75 cents on their monthly bills for the current effort, but the cost could be reduced and the number of lines replaced per year accelerated if the company receives funding. federal for the effort.

The EPA recently received $43 billion in water infrastructure funding through 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Employment Act$15 billion of which is allocated for the elimination of lead service lines under the State Clean Water Revolving Fund, federal funding from states that provides grants or low-interest loans of interest for the financing of hydraulic infrastructures.

The Indiana Finance Authority disburses SRF funds in Indiana. The IFA has not yet received funding from the IIJA. The agency has a Lead Line Replacement Initiativewhich offers a reduced interest rate incentive for communities that add line replacement as part of their SRF projects, but the agency will only fund projects that replace the entire service line.

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