Avista electric and natural gas customers in Washington and Idaho reduced their energy use in 2008 by more than 66.5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and more than 1.9 million therms of natural gas by participating in energy efficiency programs offered by the company. That’s enough savings to provide energy to more than 5,500 Inland Northwest homes and businesses for one year.
In addition to helping manage costs for customers, the energy savings also translate into benefits for the environment - the equivalent to removing over 20,000 tons of carbon emissions from the environment and taking about 3,400 cars from our roadways, based on Avista's generation mix of 57 percent renewable energy.
The savings are the direct result of energy efficiency steps customers have taken for which they qualified for a rebate or incentive from Avista. In 2008, Avista provided over 18,000 rebates and incentives totaling over $15 million to residential, commercial and limited income customers.
“Customer response to our energy efficiency programs has been strong, exceeding 2008 electric saving targets by 40 percent and natural gas goals by 34 percent. Our annual goals are set as part of the company’s Integrated Resource Plan,” said Bruce Folsom, Avista’s senior manager of energy efficiency programming.
“It seems counter-intuitive to pay customers to use less of your product. As demand for energy continues to grow, we need to meet those needs reliably and responsibly. But new energy comes at a price. While renewable energy will continue to play an increasingly important role in our energy future, creating new sources of generation is costly. That’s why Avista is committed to the lowest cost “new” source – energy efficiency,” Folsom said.
More than 4,800 rebates were given to Idaho residential customers and over 13,600 to Washington residential customers for implementing popular energy and cost-saving measures like upgrading to ENERGY STAR® refrigerators and clothes washers, installing high efficiency natural gas furnaces, upgrading windows and installing variable speed motors. The average residential rebate for single family homes was $200.
Additionally, almost 4,900 multi-family housing units in Washington and Idaho received energy efficiency upgrades through the program. Avista also provided $1.5 million to six community action partners to assist low-income customers in making energy efficiency improvements to their homes.
In order to meet growing customer demand in Washington for energy efficiency rebates, Avista has filed a request with the Washington Utilities and Transportation (WUTC) to increase an existing energy efficiency tariff for electric customers by $1.35 or 1.68 percent a month for a customer using an average of 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month and by $1.08 or 0.95 percent a month for a natural gas customer using an average of 70 therms per month. Revised monthly bills would be approximately $77.00 and $86.00 respectively. Avista has requested an effective date of Feb. 3, 2009.
The tariff increases could be offset by customers either replacing two incandescent light bulbs used five hours per day with compact fluorescent light bulbs, changing a furnace filter each month, weather-stripping one door with a 1/16 inch infiltration leak, or putting an interior plastic sheeting on a single pane 2 ft. x 4 ft. window.
If approved by the WUTC, a total of $9.38 million in additional programs funds will be directed to electric and natural gas customers making qualifying energy efficiency improvements to their homes and businesses. A tariff increase will have no impact on company earnings. Avista plans a similar filing in Idaho in the coming weeks.
Information on energy efficiency rebates and incentives offered by Avista is available www.everylittlebit.com, along with other energy-saving information.
Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is our operating division that provides service to 352,000 electric and 311,000 natural gas customers in three Western states. Avista’s primary, non-regulated subsidiary is Advantage IQ. Avista stock is traded under the ticker symbol “AVA.” For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.com.
Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of Avista Corporation.
This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding the company’s current expectations. Forward-looking statements are all statements other than historical facts. Such statements speak only as of the date of the news release and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the company’s control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations. These risks and uncertainties include, in addition to those discussed herein, all of the factors discussed in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, and the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2008.
-- 0902 --
To unsubscribe from Avista’s news release distribution, send reply message to email@example.com.
<< [Back to News Releases]