Hometown people. Hometown power. This is the slogan for the Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL), the third largest source of electrical utilities in the greater Lansing area. BWL is a municipally owned utility which simply looks to work with customers, the community and employees to make Lansing the ideal place to live and work. BWL strives to provide safe, reliable and affordable utility products and services to its customers.
BWL is always looking for new ways to produce better energy. The latest being the ‘Full Steam Ahead’ project, which will modernize the steam heating system underneath the city that was first built in 1925. With more efficient steaming pipes the final product will be better filtered.
BWL is regulated by a Board of Commissioners consisting of eight local residents, one of whom is Program Coordinator, Natalie Molnar. She works in the Energy and Eco-Strategies department. Molnar loves Lansing and is passionate about improving her community. “If you would have told me that I would be working for BWL, I would have said you were crazy,” said Molnar. “I was going to live off grid, fuel my car with vegetable oil and save the planet!”
She wasn’t completely wrong about her future; by working with BWL, Molnar works to save the planet by making it cleaner every day. One of the projects that she is heading right now is the Live Green Lansing initiative. Live Green Lansing sets in place different projects to ensure that Lansing is a healthier place for people to live, work and play in.
The program coordinator also holds the responsibility of contributing to BWL’s goals for energy efficiency and renewable energy. Wind energy, solar and hydropower are three ways that BWL utilizes what the environment has to offer and channels it into the community, ultimately providing cleaner energy. BWL has also found a way to extract the gas from landfills to use as electricity.
“My job focuses on improving the quality of life in the community, from helping people save on their energy bills to organizing river cleanups,” Molnar says.
The workers at BWL truly do care about what they do. They take pride in their work and do their best to provide for the people around them. BWL teams up with contractors, residents, business owners, city officials and schools in the area, and everyone works together to provide a better standard of living in the greater Lansing area.