June 2022: CEL&P Works for the Community

Crawfordsville Electric Light & Power (CEL&P) is proud to be one of the 72 public power utilities in Indiana and among more than 2,000 in the country. Public power utilities are publicly owned, not-for-profit electric service providers rooted in the principles of community service. For over 130 years, CEL&P has provided reliable public power and competitive electric rates to customers, while also supporting local causes and charities. CEL&P is integral to the city of Crawfordsville, and the utility continues to improve local quality of life through excellent customer service and compassion for the community.

With all the support that CEL&P contributes to the city, the utility still provides some of the lowest electric rates in the state of Indiana. In the most recent rate comparison, Crawfordsville residents with an average monthly usage of 1,000 kilowatt-hours spent $23.69 less on their electric bill than an average customer supplied by Indiana’s investor-owned utilities. Additionally, since CEL&P owns its electric distribution system, the city maintains control of the utility, and all revenue generated by the utility goes back to the community to pay for the actual costs of electricity and maintenance of infrastructure. CEL&P is also governed by local elected officials, giving citizens a voice in utility decisions. This local accountability results in great customer service, and consequently, CEL&P supplies a high-quality power supply.

CEL&P’s competitive electric service is due in part to its membership with the Indiana Municipal Power Agency (IMPA). IMPA is a not-for-profit wholesale power provider that supplies electric service to 61 communities in Indiana and Ohio, including Crawfordsville. Since becoming a founding member of IMPA in 1983, CEL&P has worked with the Agency to provide low-cost, reliable, and environmentally responsible power to its residents and businesses. CEL&P’s Manager Phil Goode even volunteers his time to help guide policy on IMPA’s Board as an IMPA Commissioner, ensuring that the interests of the community are reflected in the Agency’s decisions.

Together, CEL&P and IMPA have constructed five solar parks in the community, supplying approximately 28 megawatts of solar capacity—enough to power about 4,200 homes. Construction of the solar parks was funded through revenue generated from all IMPA member communities, and IMPA maintains the sites as part of its overall power supply. The power generated at each Crawfordsville solar park is consumed within the community since the amount of solar power generated is always less than Crawfordsville total electric load. The facilities also contribute to IMPA and CEL&P’s diverse power supply portfolio. This diversification of generation resources increases reliability of power and contributes to stable costs, supporting CEL&P’s mission to offer exceptional service. Additional advantages of the solar parks include economic development opportunities, as renewable power is highly marketable to prospective businesses and industries.

CEL&P seeks to strengthen the community in everything it does, whether through completing solar projects, promoting local events, or restoring outages. With continuous efforts to ensure quality of life now and in the decades to come, CEL&P works to guarantee all customers a bright future.