The Illinois Municipal Utilities Association is accepting scholarship applications

The Illinois Municipal Utilities Association is offering four $1,000 scholarships to eligible high school students.

To be eligible, applicants must be high school students whose parents or legal guardians are residential customers of local member utilities.

Eligible students must submit an application and an essay of 500 words or less answering one of four usefulness-related questions.

Applications and essays are due March 11, 2022.

The application, list of essay questions and eligibility requirements can be downloaded at www.imea.org/IMUA_Scholarship.aspx.

The scholarship program aims to promote and recognize academic achievement, as well as increase young adults’ awareness of the many issues facing consumers and public-power municipalities. For more information, contact DeeDee Bunch at IMUA at (217) 789-4632 or [email protected]

Each spring, high school seniors whose families reside (or use utilities) in an IMUA municipality are eligible to enter an essay contest. Each winner receives a $1,000 prize from IMUA to be used for tuition.

The 2021 winners are: Riley Trendler, St. Charles; Vedanth Ganesh, Naperville; Kassandra Estrella Rock Falls; and Lily Conkle, Metropolis.

The list of member municipalities includes: Albany, Altamont, Anna, Batavia, Bethany, Breese, Bushnell, Cairo, Carlyle, Carmi, Casey, Chatham, Cobden, Edinburg, Fairfield, Farmer City, Flora, Freeburg, Geneseo, Geneva, Greenup, Highland, IMEA, IPEA, Jonesboro, Karnak, Ladd, Marshall, Martinsville, Mascoutah, McLeansboro, Metropolis, Naperville, Oglesby, Peru, Pinckneyville, Princeton, Rantoul, Red Bud, Riverton, Rochelle, Rock Falls, Roodhouse, Springfield, St. Charles, Sullivan, Toledo, Waterloo, Wayne City, Winchester and Winnetka.

Essays must be on your choice of one of the following four problems/questions:

• Net Metering — (Electricity): Net metering is an electricity billing concept that is rapidly gaining popularity and acceptance by electricity consumers, especially solar energy enthusiasts. What do you see as the advantages and/or disadvantages of net metering for electric service providers, including municipally owned and operated utilities? How does net metering benefit landlords? Are there any downsides for landlords? For utilities? (Please explain and use specific examples to support your argument).

• Electric vehicles: Electric vehicles can be fun to drive and offer a number of advantages over gasoline-powered vehicles, including better economy, better efficiency, lower carbon emissions and less maintenance. What do you suggest as possible solutions to address some of the disadvantages cited with electric vehicles, which include a higher purchase price compared to standard vehicles as well as safety and battery issues?

• Water: Aquifers provide a stable source of drinking water for many communities across the country. As aquifers recharge and/or replenish naturally, some of these sources become insufficient to meet the needs of growing communities, especially those located in areas of high water demand. In addition to the demand for drinking water, other users pump groundwater from aquifers for industrial or agricultural purposes, which puts additional pressure on the aquifers themselves. Do you think the current regulations in place in Illinois are enough to stop aquifer depletion? please explain

and describe if there are any additional regulations or actions that you believe should be taken to protect aquifers as a stable source of drinking water for communities in Illinois.

• Public Energy (Benefits of Public Energy): Public energy has many distinct characteristics that directly and indirectly benefit consumers and contribute to community progress and economic development. What are some of these many benefits and how do you see them contributing to improving your community, including its quality of life? Please explain.

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