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Snohomish PUD helps community homes and businesses save energy with pilot program

From the March 21, 2012 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published March 21, 2012

Snohomish County Public Utility District in Everett, Wash., has helped more than 5,500 homes and 170 businesses with a range of energy efficiency projects and energy savings opportunities via its Community Power! program. The utility’s pilot program has helped PUD customers save over 5.3 million kilowatt-hours of electricity since it began in 2010, and the PUD plans to continue the program’s partnerships and conservation efforts.

"It helps our customers save on energy costs, raises awareness of conservation and provides additional jobs in the region," said PUD General Manager Steve Klein.

Community Power! is a partnership between Snohomish PUD, the city of Everett, Snohomish County and the Washington State University Energy Extension. Part of the initiative was funded through grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to serve single-family homes, multi-family complexes and small businesses. These three audiences were targeted in certain geographical areas specifically for the new program. Community Power! gave customer groups the opportunity to be eligible for energy- and water-saving measures for installation, free energy assessments, and minimal cost, energy-efficient lighting upgrades.

The local, multi-family community of Casino Road is one example of Community Power! reaching target audiences, the PUD said. The Casino Road neighborhood has a dense population of renters and small businesses. Program personnel installed upgrades such as energy-efficient windows, lighting, power strips, and common area lighting retrofits.

"The program targeted energy savings in hard-to-reach market segments, specifically multi-family buildings and small businesses with rented or leased space," said Program Manager Nicole Moreland. "Our trade ally partners were instrumental in reaching out to these customers, explaining project benefits and delivering the savings."

The PUD said another popular promotion, employing a peer-to-peer marketing approach and signing up hundreds of customers thus far, was titled "team up and save." It allows for groups of five or more households in the county to sign up to receive free energy assessments for each home.

Additional information on Community Power! is available on Snohomish PUD’s website.


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