City Utilities of Springfield

From Global Energy Monitor
City Utilities of Springfield
TypeMunicipal Utility
Headquarters301 East Central St.
Springfield, MO 65802
Area servedMO
Key peopleJohn Twitty, General Manager
IndustryElectricity Producer and Utility
Natural Gas Utility
Water Utility
Public Transit
ProductsElectricity, Natural Gas, Water
Revenue$372.0 million (2007)[1]
Net income $16.9 million (2007)[1]
Employees982 (2007)
ParentCity of Springfield, Missouri

City Utilities of Springfield (CU) is a community-owned utility cooperative serving southwest Missouri with electricity, natural gas, water, telecommunications and transit services. CU provides service to over 106,000 customers.

CU is responsible for the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power; the acquisition, transportation, and distribution of natural gas; and the acquisition, treatment, and distribution of water; plus the operation of the bus transportation system. The CU service territory covers approximately 320 square miles, which includes all of the city of Springfield, portions of Greene County, and a part of northern Christian County.


The utility is owned by the community and governed by an eleven-member Board of Public Utilities, nine of whom are customers inside the city limits and two who reside outside the city limits. Board members are appointed by City Council for three-year terms. The Board normally meets on the last Thursday of each month. The Board makes policy decisions for CU and appoints the General Manager, who is the Chief Executive Officer.

Power portfolio

Out of its total 887 MW of electric generating capacity in 2005 (0.08% of the U.S. total), CU produces 50.4% from coal, 47.9% from natural gas, and 1.7% from oil. All of CU's power plants are in Greene County, Missouri.[2]

Existing coal-fired power plants

CU had 6 coal-fired generating stations in 2005, with 447 MW of capacity. Here is a list of CU's coal power plants:[2][3][4]

Plant Name State County Year(s) Built Capacity 2007 CO2 Emissions 2006 SO2 Emissions
James River MO Greene 1957, 1960, 1964, 1970 253 MW 2,063,000 tons 16,429 tons
Southwest MO Greene 1976 194 MW 1,666,000 tons 3,067 tons

In 2006, CU's two coal-fired power plants emitted 3.7 million tons of CO2 and 19,000 tons of SO2.

Proposed Coal Plant

In Nov. 2004, Springfield voters rejected the Southwest Power Station Unit 2, but CU put the plant on the ballot as a special election in June 2006, at which point the vote passed.[5]

On Aug. 24, 2006, the Sierra Club appealed a Missouri judge’s decision to allow City Utilities of Springfield to go forward with plans to build Southwest II.[6] In August 2007, the Missouri Supreme Court declined to hear Sierra Club’s appeal of the permit.[7]

City Councilman Doug Burlison initiated a petition asking state auditors to consider whether the way SCU handled the permit was improper; the petition gathered 5,874 signatures, more than the 5,000 necessary to force a state audit. State Auditor Susan Montee’s 73-page report, released Dec. 18, 2007, criticizes SCU for behaving more like a corporation than a public utility, and suggests that SCU contributions to local organizations may violate the Missouri State Constitution. The Missouri Attorney General will be responsible for any final decision on SCU’s practices.[8]

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 Quick Facts Spotlight, City Utilities website, accessed July 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2005, Energy Information Administration, accessed April 2008.
  3. Environmental Integrity Project, Dirty Kilowatts: America’s Most Polluting Power Plants, July 2007.
  4. Dig Deeper, Carbon Monitoring for Action database, accessed June 2008.
  5. "Southwest 2: This Time, Voters Say Yes", News Leader, June 7, 2006.
  6. "Permit Errors and Future Pollution Levels Prompt Sierra Club Appeal", Missouri Sierra Club, September 2006.
  7. "Highest Court Last Resort for Sierra Club in Mo. Coal-Plant Duel", LegalNewsline, August 23, 2007.
  8. “Audit Criticizes CU; Utility Fires Back", News-Leader, December 19, 2007.

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