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Rauner’s mansion utility bills story turns out to be true

Monday, Mar 12, 2018

* From Gov. Rauner’s February budget address

When my wife and I moved into the Governor’s Mansion in 2015, we noticed that every light was turned on. I don’t know about you, but I was raised that if you left a room and didn’t shut out the lights, you’d be in trouble.

Of course, this led us to ask what the utility bill was for the mansion. It took two weeks to track down who actually got the bill in the government bureaucracy, and to discover that it cost the state almost $100,000 a year. Outrageous. We immediately put in good energy management practices to cut the bill substantially.

* Finke fact-checked him and Rauner actually understated the problem for a change

Figures provided by the administration show total utility costs in the 2014 fiscal year were $108,341. That included $63,723 for electricity, $32,608 for natural gas and $12,010 for water. […]

[Rauner spokeswoman Rachel Bold] said steps have been taken to reduce costs, from simple things like turning off lights that aren’t needed and lowering the heat when the building isn’t occupied to installation of energy saving LED lights. […]

Bold, though, provided records for utility bills — for electricity, water, natural gas and sewer charges — from March 2014 and March of 2017. In March of 2014, utility bills ran $7,590. In 2017, those charges were $5,798.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:13 am:

    It’s front page news when our governor gets caught telling the truth.

    Quite the agent of change this Rauner guy.

  2. - Anon - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:19 am:

    Call Jack Darin and Jen Walling so they can hold off on their november endorsements!

  3. - Keyrock - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:20 am:

    Man bites dog story.

  4. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:21 am:

    Who was responsible for this oversight? Didn’t those figures raise anyone’s suspicions that perhaps there is Waste is government? Take heed, doubters, there is plenty of ways we can reduce waste, but it takes someone to do something about it where they work. Even the small stuff. Why not?

  5. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:25 am:

    For the record…

    ===- Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 14, 18 @ 1:44 pm

    Maybe Bruce…

    … and Diana Rauner, (cited by the governor)…

    … can show those utility bills, and I’ll grant him heat, (maybe) water, (for fun) and get all those to total $100,000.00

    You’d think that bill or total would be readily available, you know, as a prop, Rauner loves a good prop.

    Diana and Bruce were stunned.

    They should stun us all. Show that stunning total.

    They could be right.===

  6. - Annonin' - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:32 am:

    Mr/Ms OW makes a great point. Only took GovJunk/BTIA/Super$tars et al a month to prove up their PR stunt. Perhaps it gives us a clue why the response to the scandals surrounding the 13 deaths in Quincy grinds on and on.
    Hattip to SJR for folo up

  7. - Louis G Atsaves - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:43 am:

    @Anonnin, PR stunt? Why then did he wait so long? Let’s see how many commentators eat crow and give Rauner here.

    Waiting for that critical over the top Pritzker press release in fhree, two . . .

  8. - very old soil - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:43 am:

    I hope the remodeling included adding some insulation in the attic

  9. - Saluki - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:43 am:

    Two thumbs up.

  10. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:45 am:

    Meh, the old strategy under Rauner was simply to not pay the state’s utility bills — for two years. Plus, raid the dedicated funds for utility assistance for the poor.

    If the old lady down the block doesn’t pay her utility bills, they cut her off after a few months.

  11. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:45 am:

    ===Let’s see how many commentators eat crow and give Rauner here.===

    Aaaand… there it is.

    Figured I’d cut -Louis G Atsaves - off at the pass.

    But, a month to prove it?

    That’s not too great. I guess it’s not a priority via email for Diana.

    Bruce cited her in the speech, purposely, so…

  12. - Skeptic - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:52 am:

    See? There’s your waste, fraud and/or abuse.

  13. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:59 am:

    If only the power bills were higher at the Quincy Veterans Home maybe the governor would care to oversee a fundraising drive to modernize and rehab that facility.


    I think the Rauners take “charity begins at home” a bit to literally.

  14. - Juice - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:59 am:

    Huh? “In calendar 2015, CWLP’s billing jumped to $77,879 because of a 45,000 kilowatt hour increase in electrical use at the mansion.”

  15. - Claud Peppers - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 9:00 am:

    The example of saving is in an unoccupied building.

  16. - Baloneymous - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 9:01 am:

    Rauner helped rack up $1 billion in interest on unpaid bills. And this is supposed to be impressive?

  17. - PJ - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 9:05 am:

    ==Let’s see how many commentators eat crow and give Rauner here.==

    We’re supposed to pat the Governor on the head for (finally) telling a truthful anecdote?

  18. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 9:17 am:

    –Let’s see how many commentators eat crow and give Rauner here.–

    Perhaps after you explain the benefits of piling on $12B in new debt and $1B in juice?

    You got your ticket punched for the day, Louis. The check’s in the mail.

  19. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 9:29 am:

    –Let’s see how many commentators eat crow and give Rauner here.–

    I’ll do it. A buddy of mine at CWLP told me it wasn’t nearly that high, and I posted that bad info here. Rauner was right, and I - random internet commenter that I am - was wrong. Mea culpa.

  20. - Anon221 - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 9:36 am:

    What were the late payment fees on all those utility bills???

  21. - Perrid - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 9:37 am:

    @Skeptic “See? There’s your waste, fraud and/or abuse.” Oh this made me laugh. A really big old building uses utilities inefficiently, and the Guv does something to maybe cut, what, $10k? Lets says $20k. Now he just has to come up with the rest of the half billion or so he’s claimed he can save in waste and abuse. He’s changed the amount but I think he’s claimed half a billion. Look, I’m glad he/someone took initiative and cut costs, that’s a good thing, but it’s a tiny, tiny win to try to hang your hat on.

  22. - A Jack - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 9:41 am:

    “We noticed every light was turned on….”. Maybe Pat Quinn had a bad dream about Squeezy.

  23. - James Knell - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 9:48 am:

    Way to turn off those lights! Good job Governor.

  24. - Grandpa2 - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 9:51 am:

    Makes me wonder what energy savings can be found in other state facilities under the Governor’s control.

  25. - Barrington - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 9:52 am:

    Average temperature March 2014 21.3
    Average temperature March 2017 41.8

  26. - Claud Peppers - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 9:59 am:

    Was the remodel designed as LEED certified?

  27. - Whatever - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 10:02 am:

    When the governor is in charge (of the light switches and the thermostat, at least), turnaround happens!

  28. - Annonin' - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 10:34 am:

    Mr/Ms Louis AG
    Given GovJunk track record it that the line in the speech was another “election night phone call” moment. The BTIA should have had the bills all copied and ready to hand out… They didn’t and it took a month to put together info. We offer full praise for GovJunk for recognizing a good move, pushing it and then being able to prove it. How about a special mid year Golden Horsehoe for all past, present, future members of BTIA? Very glad they got their story out.

  29. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 11:01 am:

    In terms of cutting waste, Bruce waves wild about catching the fly, while he prodded the elephants on through…..

  30. - Jocko - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 11:08 am:

    ==utility payments were often delayed during the budget impasse==

    This suggests that penalties and interest comprised at least part of the bill. I will apologize, but still argue that the mansion was pulling “Palace of Versailles” type numbers…like 12K for water.

  31. - DeseDemDose - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 11:31 am:

    Wonder which Barbie dress up day outfit Rauner puts on to demonstrate that he knows how to work a light switch. His hardhat?

  32. - Barrington - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 11:32 am:

    Picking the months to compare is cherry picking. Much like active fund managers indication of making a profit by picking the years.

  33. - Ed Higher - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 11:46 am:

    Color me electrically shocked. Bruce Rauner: Lights on, nobody’s home.

  34. - Not It - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 1:05 pm:

    How does a vacant building use $1,000 a month in water?

    Electric and Natural gas I can see for climate control and lighting. But who is flushing toilets and taking baths?

  35. - Illinois Resident - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 1:32 pm:

    If Rauner is so cost conscious, he should immediately legalize cannabis so the state can earn an additional $700 million a year. That is a lot of utility money.

  36. - Liberty - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 3:20 pm:

    How much of the total paid was interest on unpaid bills?

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