Jun 06 , 2012
Imposters claim President Obama providing credits or applying payments to utility bills
 
 
Scam alert
Avista and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Montana are warning customers to be alert to a scam that has impacted utility customers in several states across the country.  According to reports, imposters are claiming that President Obama is providing credits or applying payments to utility bills in an attempt to obtain social security numbers and bank routing numbers.

Utilities impacted by the scam also report that scammers have visited customers in person, posted fliers and used social media and texting to send this false message.

“We all should be vigilant in protecting our personal information at all times. That’s why customers are reminded that Avista does not contact customers seeking personal information, and it is our policy to safeguard any information that we collect during the course of providing electric and natural gas services,” said Mike Broemeling, Avista’s director of customer service.

“You have the power and the right to safeguard your personal information and your home. Customers should trust their instincts and feel empowered to hang up the phone or request a stranger to leave their property if approached about scams like this,” said Chelsea Dannen, public relations and media specialist for BBB.

Avista and the Better Business Bureau offer the following tips to avoid falling for this scam and others:

• Never provide your social security number, credit card number or banking information to anyone requesting it over the phone or at your home unless you initiated the contact and feel confident with whom you are speaking.
• If you receive a call claiming to be your utility company and feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information, hang up the phone and call the customer service number on your utility bill.
• Never allow anyone into your home to check electrical wiring, natural gas pipes or appliances unless you have scheduled an appointment or have reported a utility problem. Also, ask utility employees for proper identification.
• Always think safety first. Do not give in to high pressure tactics over the phone for information or in person to get into your home.
 
 
Published: 6/6/2012  9:31 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Jun 04 , 2012

Avista

 
 
Severe weather can strike at any time, which may have you wondering what you can do to prepare your home or business for a power outage. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe during a severe weather event:
 
  • Know how to report an outage. If your power is out, call us right away at 800-227-9187 or report it online at www.avistautilities.com. We have a mobile version of our site, which makes reporting easy for  mobile device users. You can also track power outages online or on a mobile device.  
  • Stay away from downed power lines. If you see a downed line, consider it to be energized and stay away from it. Call us right away to report any downed lines.
  • Remember your appliances. Turn off all the appliances you think were on before your power went out.
  • Unplug. Unplug your electronic equipment, including computers.
  • Keep it closed. Keep your refrigerator or freezer door closed as much as possible to keep the cool air inside.
  • Don’t grill indoors. Never use a grill indoors to prepare food.
  • Give yourself a visual cue.  Leave a light or radio on to let you know when you have service again.

More safety tips can be found online at www.avistautilities.com. Rest assured that during an outage event, Avista will be working day and night to restore your power. 

Published: 6/4/2012  4:51 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Jun 01 , 2012

Scenic view of downtown Spokane, Washington

Customers continue benefiting from rebate and incentive programs to reduce energy use


 

Post by Anna Scarlett

Avista customers in Washington could see a decrease in their electric and natural gas rates beginning Aug. 1, if the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission approves the company’s request to reduce surcharges that fund the company’s electric and natural gas energy efficiency programs. 

 

The decreases are being requested to balance the amount of funding required for Avista to operate its energy efficiency programs, including the rebates and incentives paid to participating customers for installing energy saving measures. The requests are a part of Avista’s annual report to Washington regulators regarding the funding of the company’s energy efficiency programs.

 

If Avista’s requests are approved, electric customers in Washington would see an overall 1.9 percent decrease, or $1.47 a month for residential customers using an average of 989 kilowatt hours. Natural gas customers in Washington would see an overall 1.3 percent decrease, or a 79-cent per month reduction for residential customers using 68 therms. These tariff adjustments have no impact on company earnings.

 

Last year customers in Avista’s three-state service area received more than 43,000 rebates and incentives totaling almost $16 million. The energy savings are enough to power more than 5,300 Inland Northwest homes for a year and serve 2,300 homes with natural gas for a year, or almost 64,000 megawatt hours and 1.7 million therms of natural gas.

 

Of the rebates paid in 2011, more than 28,000 were to Washington customers totaling $11.4 million, more than 12,000 rebates to Idaho customers totaling $3.7 million, and Oregon customers received 2,300 rebates totaling $1.2 million. The most popular energy and cost-saving measures for residential customers included purchasing Energy Star ® appliances, installing high efficiency natural gas furnaces, and upgrading insulation. The average residential rebate for single family homes was $105.

Approximately $1.7 million was provided for weatherization for qualifying low-income customers in Washington and $595,000 for Idaho customers. An additional $40,000 was provided for conservation education for Idaho customers.

Information on energy efficiency rebates and incentives Avista offers for residential, commercial and low-income customers is available at www.everylittlebit.com, along with other energy-saving information.

Related reading:

Published: 6/1/2012  2:07 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Jun 01 , 2012

Rebates image

 
Post by Debbie Simock 
   
Receiving a rebate from Avista for the energy efficiency improvements you’ve made around your home just got a lot easier – no envelop, no stamps, no hassle.
 
Now you can submit your rebate information online at www.avistautilities.com/resrebates, scan in your receipts and hit send. It’s faster so you receive your rebate sooner which everyone likes. If you’re thinking about improvements to your home, you can also find out more about the Avista energy efficiency rebates for which you may qualify at www.avistautilities.com/resrebates.
 
In 2011 Avista customers received over 43,000 rebates and incentives totaling almost $16 million for energy efficiency improvements made to their homes and businesses. The energy savings are enough to power over 5,300 Inland Northwest homes for a year and serve 2,300 homes with natural gas for a year. The most popular energy and cost-savings measures for residential customers were purchasing Energy Star® appliances, installing high efficiency natural gas furnaces and upgrading insulation.
 
Check those energy efficiency projects off your to-do list and start saving time, money and energy.
Published: 6/1/2012  11:44 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

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