Retirement of BWL Eckert Station
In 2015, the Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) announced plans to close the coal-fired Eckert Station by January 2020. The retirement of Eckert will create a shortage in the energy and capacity available to serve the BWL’s customers thereby impacting affordability and reliability.
Changing Customer Expectations
With the advances in digital technology, information availability and mobile devices, BWL customers now expect more information and control over their services. In addition to immediate feedback on outages and restoration to mobile devices, the ability to monitor and control electric usage by remotely reading meters and remotely controlling thermostats, water heaters and appliances is needed. Technology will allow for more closely tailored services to meet customer needs. In addition, the BWL’s customer service will become more efficient, with “real-time” turn-on and turn-off services, along with enhanced online options, such as payments immediately posted to accounts.
The BWL is in the middle of an extensive five-year plan to upgrade and strengthen the resiliency of its electric transmission and distribution system. The last time extensive upgrades were made to this system was in the 1980s. In addition to the electric system, the BWL is also planning for extensive upgrades to its water and steam transmission and distribution systems and its chilled water infrastructure.