Electric Service FAQ

Electric Service – Frequently Asked Questions

Who do I call if I have an electric emergency?
How do I report an outage?
How do I report a streetlight out?
What can I do to conserve energy?
What impact does the mercury content in Compact Fluorscent Light bulbs have on the
environment?
What are the advantages of using a CFL or other fluorescent light bulb?
If problems occur with my electric service line, who is responsible?
Today is a beautiful day. The sun is shining. Why is my digital clock flashing?
What is MoPEP?
When and how are the generators owned by RMU operated?
There is no way I used as much electricity as my bill indicates. There must be something wrong with the RMU electric meter. Can I have it tested?
How does a ”Demand” meter work?

 

Who do I call if I have an electric emergency?

If life or property is in danger, or if someone needs medical attention, Call 911; otherwise please call 573.364.1572. For more information please click here

How do I report an outage?

If you would like to report an outage please call 573.364.1572 or 573.364.2195. For more information on how to report an outage please click here

How do I report a streetlight out?

To report a streetlight out please call 573.364.1572 during normal business hours. For more information about reporting a streetlight out please click here

What can I do to conserve energy?

RMU recommends that citizens do their part to conserve our natural resources. This may be accomplished by forming conserving habits, such as turning off electrical equipment when not needed, and by using proper insulation and ventilation in homes and businesses. For more information about Energy Conservation Click Here

What impact does the mercury content in Compact Fluorscent Light bulbs have on the environment?

As the technology has improved, the amounts of mercury in CFLs has decreased. The mercury content in Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs is a very small amount which is sealed within the glass tubing, an average of 5 milligrams, about the amount that would cover the tip of a ballpoint pen. By comparison, older thermometers contain about 500 milligrams of mercury. While households may not be required to manage CFLs as a hazardous waste after they burn out, the USEPA encourages recycling of them when they are ready to be discarded. For residential customers, CFLs can be recycled at the City of Rolla Household Hazardous Waste Collection site located at the Recycling Center. You can visit their website at www.rollacity.org. The Rolla Area Sheltered Workshop is also a recycling source. Their phone number is 364-2883. Lowes Home Improvement also provides recycling services. Rolla Municipal Utilities encourages conservation of our resources. We can save energy and reduce pollution through the use of energy efficient CFLs. Recycling CFLs at the end of their life is a very important part of this cycle. Please visit www.energystar.gov or www.epa.gov/mercury for more information.

What are the advantages of using a CFL or other fluorescent light bulb?

CFLs or other fluorescent light bulbs are an extremely energy-efficient lighting option. These light bulbs are significantly more energy efficient than incandescent light bulbs because they require less energy to provide the same amount of light. The use of fluorescent light bulbs, rather than incandescent light bulbs, reduces the release of mercury and greenhouse gases from coal-burning power plants. If every home in America replaced just one incandescent light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified CFL, it would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of more than 800,000 cars annually. Also, fluorescent light bulbs are more cost effective because they last up to 10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.  EPA strongly encourages the recycling of all mercury-containing light bulbs after they burn out.

If problems occur with my electric service line, who is responsible?

Service lines are connections between RMU’s electric facilities and the customer’s structure. For residential customers, the underground electric service cable and conduit is owned and maintained by the property owner. Any necessary repairs are the responsibility of the property owner. Overhead electric service cables connecting RMU’s distribution facilities to the customer is maintained and serviced by RMU. The service connection point, mast, weatherhead, and meter box are owned and maintained by the customer.

Today is a beautiful day. The sun is shining. Why is my digital clock flashing?

Resetting digital clocks is an aggravation of modern life that our ancestors avoided. Before digital clocks came into being, the occasional dip in power voltage, or short power loss, went unnoticed by most of us. But since the advent of digital clocks, even though electric service is actually more reliable than ever, you are more aware of every interruption.

Our electric system has protective equipment that causes lights to blink from time to time. The most frequent cause is the backyard squirrel, which can really be a nuisance. Other causes are lightning, high winds, ice storms, cars hitting utility poles, and equipment failure. The outage, or blink, allows just enough time for the obstruction causing the short circuit on the line to clear and the electricity to be restored. Even in the best weather, power outages can happen.

The short power loss is necessary for public protection and safety as well as to minimize or prevent damage to the electrical system. And we apologize in advance for the drudgery involved in resetting your digital clocks.

What is MoPEP?

The Missouri Public Energy Pool (MoPEP) is a cost of service electric utility which supplies 35 Missouri cities with their full requirements electric supply. The Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission (MJMEUC) manages all the resources of these cities to achieve economies of scale from new supplies, optimize use of existing supplies, and utilize the strengths of this group of cities to provide reliable low cost power through joint action.

Power supply resources for the pool include a diverse supply mix anchored by the dependability and flexibility of the members’ locally owned and operated units. This excellent set of resources is optimized by the sale of surpluses and purchases to lower the cost of supply. New opportunities are continuously being developed to meet the changing needs of the pool members.

The guiding principle of the pool is that the member cities make the decisions, with MJMEUC providing the opportunity for joint action. The Commission works to provide a reliable source of supply at the lowest cost possible.

Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc (AECI) and the related cooperative systems, Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and Mid Continent Independent System Operator (MISO) transmission paths are used to fully integrate members with pool suppliers.

The MoPEP SCADA system installed by the cities and MJMEUC is polling all the interconnections from the pool members and aggregates their load on a real time basis (every 2-4 seconds). The pool system has over 90 meters installed, bringing together a great deal of information for the benefit of pool members. The MoPEP SCADA system is a major asset in improving reliability and maintaining low cost supply options for the pool.

Members of the MoPEP Pool are: Albany, Ava, Bethany, Butler,  Carrollton, Chillicothe, El Dorado Springs, Farmington, Fayette, Fredericktown, Gallatin, Harrisonville, Hermann, Higginsville, Jackson, Lamar, LaPlata, Lebanon, Macon, Marshall, Memphis, Monroe City, Odessa, Palmyra, Rock Port, Rolla, Salisbury, Shelbina, St. James, Stanberry, Thayer, Trenton, Unionville, Vandalia, and Waynesville.>

When and how are the generators owned by RMU operated?

Twenty-eight megawatts (MW) of diesel generation were installed by RMU in 2000/2001. RMU receives capacity credits from MoPEP to have these generators available as a power supply resource.>

The RMU generators are operated in several ways. Primarily, when the cost of purchased power exceeds the cost that the MoPEP pool members can generate, the pool can request member utilities to run their generators to offset pool loads. Similarly, because of a growing shortage of transmission capacity, sometimes energy contracts get terminated. Because the power can not be delivered to member cities, pool members generate to make up for that lost power.

The generators also act as an insurance policy if RMU can not receive power delivery. This was the case of the outage in August 2003 when one of the AmerenUE transformers at Phelps Substation burned. The fire and corresponding outage isolated RMU, and the City of Rolla, from the outside electrical grid. No power was transmitted in either direction during this outage. RMU started all available generating units and supplied power to maintain key functions within the city. Because of the high electrical load generated by the August heat, RMU was unable to supply the entire city.>

Since the August 2003 outage, RMU has added an additional 6MW of generation to the RMU system as part of a partnership with Phelps County Regional Medical Center. This brings the total generation capacity of the RMU generators to a total of 34MW.

All of the units are operated and maintained by RMU in accordance with industry accepted practices and the requirements of federal and state rules and regulations. The generators are routinely tested to ensure their availability when needed. RMU staff start and stop the generators via the RMU SCADA system when contractually obligated to operate or in the event the units are needed locally. So every time RMU operates the generators, RMU is offsetting the local or “native” load here in Rolla.

The power produced here, stays here.

There is no way I used as much electricity as my bill indicates. There must be something wrong with the RMU electric meter. Can I have it tested?

RMU requires a Meter Test Fee prior to the test being performed. Should the test find the meter to be greater than the acceptable industry standard accuracy range, the Meter Test Fee will be returned, and an adjustment to the bill will be made for a maximum of six months of usage for the overage amount. If the meter is found to be outside the acceptable industry standard accuracy range, the meter will be adjusted or replaced at no expense to the customer at RMU’s discretion. Please contact the RMU Business Office for more details.

RMU uses two basic types of meters to register electricity usage. These are electro-mechanical and digital meters.  Let’s discuss these meters briefly.>

The older meters on the RMU system are electro-mechanical meters. These meters can be identified by the rotating disk that is under the glass. As electricity passes through the meter, an induced flux in the meter causes the disk to rotate, which in turn registers the amount of power being used. Because of the mechanical nature of these types of meters, they tend to slow down, not speed up over time. RMU’s experience with this type of meter has shown that this type of meter is extremely accurate, even over the course of being in service for decades.

The newer meters RMU deploys are digital meters. These meters can be identified by the digital display on the front of the meter. These meters have no moving parts and are certified by the factory to be within industry accepted tolerances for accuracy. These meters are extremely accurate and do not experience a “speed up” or “slow down” over time.

How does a ”Demand” meter work?

RMU uses demand meters for Power Service and Industrial rate classes. In addition to monitoring the energy (kWh) used by a customer, these meters also register the peak usage (kW).

The meters do this by utilizing a rolling average of the last 15 minutes of peak usage. Every minute during the billing cycle, the demand meter calculates a new average 15 minute “demand” by averaging the previous 15 minute period. The demand meter retains the highest average peak for the month. When the RMU meter reader reads the meter, he resets the demand reading and the cycle begins again for the following month.