Oct 18 , 2011
Cold weather is on the way – there’s no getting around it. So, before it hits with all its fury, it’s a good time to reach out and provide information about bill assistance and energy efficiency. Two Avista Energy Fairs are scheduled this fall to do just that – Lewiston/Clarkston on October 22 and Spokane on November 3.
“We’ve done two fairs in Spokane and one in Coeur d’Alene over the past year and they have been well attended. We’re pleased that people are finding value in the energy efficiency demonstrations and weatherization materials they receive,” said Anne Marie Axworthy, Avista’s director of consumer affairs. “It’s great to take customer service opportunities like the Energy Fair out to where it’s convenient for our customers. Our hope is that the information about billing options, energy assistance and energy efficiency is helpful to those struggling to pay their bills and also of benefit for anyone who wants to better manage their energy use.”
Avista employees and community service providers will be on hand to answer questions about the following:
• Bill Assistance – Avista customer service representatives will answer billing questions, provide information about payment options and refer customers to energy assistance programs. And they will demonstrate how to use Avista’s free online Bill Analyzer to get more information about managing your energy bill.
• Energy Efficiency – See low-cost and no-cost efficiency demonstrations to help keep your home warm like rope caulking, door sweeps and window plastic. Free samples will be handed out.
• Community Assistance – Avista and community service providers will be on hand to answer questions about energy assistance, weatherization, and other topics.
For the kids, and the kids at heart, Wattson, Avista’s energy watchdog, will guide attendees through his musical message of energy efficiency and safety. Employee volunteers will have craft projects and interactive activities available to keep little hands busy while taking a break from the information tables. Food and beverages, door prizes and a grand prize basket that includes a Housewarming Certificate will also be available to all participants.
What you need to know
Saturday, October 22: Walla Walla Community College, 1470 Bridge St., Clarkston, Wash. 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Thursday, November 3: West Central Community Center, 1603 N. Belt St., Spokane, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Oct 13 , 2011
On Sept. 21, 15 employees from Avista’s Human Resources department joined more than 200 employees from 22 local companies who volunteered their time for the Spokane County United Way annual Day of Action.
The Day of Action volunteers lent a helping hand to local organizations by painting, gardening, laying bark, building shelves, and distributing food from the 2nd Harvest Mobile Food bank.
The Spokane County United Way Day of Action and its volunteers are just another example of how Avista employees give back to the communities that we all live and work in.
Aug 09 , 2011
Home owners and contractors are reminded to call 811 at least two days before digging
I bet these guys called before they dug. Learn from them!
#Call811 - that's it.
This week would really, really be the wrong week to dig into an underground utility line. OK, any day is bad, but this week would be exceptionally bad. Thursday is Aug. 11 – or 8/11. Sounds a bit like “811,” right? And of course you know you can call 811 for free two days before you plan to dig to locate underground utilities. Play it safe and call before you dig. It’s the law.
To help get the word out, Avista is partnering with local Home Depot stores on Thursday, Aug. 11, to raise awareness for 811, the one-call number for locating underground utilities. It’s the perfect day to remind homeowners and contractors to call 811 at least two days before digging. All are welcome to join Avista at Home Depot stores in Spokane, Spokane Valley and Phoenix, Ore.
Avista employees will be staffing booths where customers can learn more about the free 811 service and why it’s important to call before you dig. Customers can also enter to win a $25 Avista Housewarming Gift Certificate or other promotional items.
Striking underground utilities is dangerous and can be costly. In 2010 Avista’s underground natural gas and electric lines were hit by third-parties 480 times. Calling 811 at least two working days before excavating or digging begins allows sufficient time for a professional to mark the location of any buried wires, cables or natural gas pipes.
Who: Avista Utilities & Home Depot
What: 811 Call Before You Dig Awareness Events
Where: Home Depot Stores
9116 N. Newport Hwy
5617 E. Sprague Ave.
3345 N Phoenix Rd.
Jun 16 , 2011
It’s time to get your clubs ready and hit the links. Avista’s third annual Charity Golf Scramble will be held on Saturday, August 20, 2011 at the Rivers Bend Golf Course in Thompson Falls, Mont.
The four-person scramble tournament will benefit Sanders County senior citizens. The Avista Charity Golf Tournament was created in 2009 to mark the 10-year anniversary of the Clark Fork Management Committee and the 50-year anniversary of the Noxon Rapids Hydroelectric Dam. Avista has sponsored the charity golf tournament annually to benefit a local organization. Past beneficiaries include Sanders County Community Housing and the Cancer Network of Sanders County.
Registrations are now being taken for men’s, women’s, and coed teams. The cost is $50 per player and includes 18 holes of golf, lunch provided by the Senior Citizens of Sanders County, the chance to win great team, pin and door prizes as well as the opportunity to participate in a silent auction. Rehbein Ford has once again graciously offered a brand new vehicle as the hole-in-one prize. Additionally, top performing teams in men’s, women’s and coed divisions will win up to $500.
If you would like to attend this fun event to benefit a great cause, please register your team by contacting Avista’s Natural Resource office at (406) 847-1285 by August 1. We hope to see you on the links.
Jun 15 , 2011
The world – literally – has been buzzing the past few years about sustainability. But what does it really mean in terms of how a company operates? And who cares? Well, we care. And judging from the questions we often get, we think our customers and others care too.
We talked about sustainability last year about this time as we launched our 2010 report on our sustainable business performance. In that report we shared information about how Avista’s operations impact the three legs of the sustainability stool: the economy, the environment and society.
We haven’t lost that momentum. We’ve built on it. This year’s report has a fresh perspective that we hope will give you an even better picture of what we do and why. In the 2011 report, we’re talking about how our sustainable business practices build shared value for our stakeholders as well as our company in three areas of focus: customer experiences, responsible resources and environmental stewardship.
Let me give you an example. In 2010 Avista completed installation of new, computerized spillway gates at the Nine Mile Dam, just downstream from downtown Spokane. The new system replaces our old wooden flashboard process, which had been in use since 1928. A series of community meetings engaged customers and property owners in the project, and our staff listened closely to their concerns about shorelines, water levels and wildlife, and partnered with them to achieve acceptable outcomes for all parties. The new spillway helps improve Avista’s coordination of the operation all of our Spokane River dams and allows us to operate more efficiently. At the same time we are more responsive to the needs of the community in protecting habitat and working with recreationists to improve angling and boating experiences. A win-win for all concerned.
May 10 , 2011
From left: Avista Utilities President Dennis Vermillion,
Hometown Heroes award recipient and Avista
Journeyman Gas Don Galloway and Palouse
Operations Manager Jenny Blaylock.
The American Red Cross of Greater Idaho recently honored Avista Journeyman Gas Don Galloway and two other individuals for their lifesaving efforts at the scene of a car accident last summer. Galloway was in the right place at the right time with the right training to make a big difference.
At a reception in Clarkston in late March, Galloway was presented the 2011 Local Disaster Heroes award. Thirteen other local residents were honored for their individual work as well.
The Hometown Heroes event “honors these men and women, our friends, neighbors and co-workers who made a life-saving difference to our community," said Deborah Snyder, North Central Idaho District Manager of the Red Cross.
On Sunday, June 27, 2010, Galloway, who works in Pullman, was travelling on Hwy 95 south of Moscow when he came across two vehicles in a ditch, located only a few feet apart. They appeared to have been in a head-on collision. Two other passersby joined Galloway on scene.
One of the vehicles was on fire with an unconscious driver inside. Attempts to remove the driver were unsuccessful. He was pinned inside as the fire rapidly engulfed the vehicle. The driver died at the scene.
The other vehicle, a pick-up truck, had four passengers, three of which were able to exit the vehicle, but the driver remained trapped. They couldn’t get the driver-side door open and were forced to use the passenger-side exit, which was just feet from the burning vehicle next to it. As they moved to the passenger side of the truck, it also started on fire. Thankfully they were able to remove the driver and get him safely away from the burning vehicles.
Galloway stayed with the driver of the second vehicle until emergency medical technicians arrived. He kept the driver still and asked him questions to keep him conscious, while directing others to put compresses, towels and blankets on cuts and abrasions.
Galloway said his First Aid training was the key to him remaining calm and focused on the rescued driver. Tom Jannings, Safety and Health Specialist, nominated Galloway for the award.
Apr 28 , 2011
Avista introduces its first annual report on the company’s philanthropic activities
If you look and listen closely enough, you’ll see or hear our name pretty frequently in every community we serve. Not just on the service trucks working in your neighborhood or among those talking about energy bills in the grocery store. We’re here in your community doing what you do…supporting the local Chamber of Commerce, the parks programs, the colleges and universities, the after-school programs and many, many other non-profit organizations. We’ve quietly done this for more than 120 years, and we thought it was time to share some of the stories with you.
Today Avista launched our first annual report on the company’s philanthropic activities. The online report, “Avista Cares -- 2010 Philanthropy Report,”
provides an overview of charitable donations made to non-profit organizations in our service territory as of Dec. 31, 2010. Funding for these contributions comes from company profits or endowed funds through the Avista Foundation and is not paid for by customers.
In 2010, we gave more than $2 million through donations and grants to non-profits in the communities we serve. These organizations are providing important services that are vital to the people who call those communities home. We believe that investing in philanthropic endeavors strengthens the fabric of communities, and enhances quality of life and community vitality.
We chose to put the report online to make it easier for you to access. It also is in keeping with our commitment to sustainable business practices – by not using paper, ink and energy to produce a printed report.
We hope you find the information of interest. Let us know what you think.
Mar 22 , 2011
Post by Dan Kolbet
Avista recently gave a helping hand to a Great Horned owl chick on the Palouse. It’s small efforts like this that tell the real story about who Avista is as a company and how much our employees care about the communities we live in.
The owl is now back in its nest at Pullman’s Lincoln Middle School. The chick, which was too young to fly, was found a week ago at the foot of the nest tree on the school grounds. Employees from Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine took the bird back to WSU, for an examination and feeding while plans were made to replace it in its nest.
After waiting for winds to die down, Avista donated a large bucket truck, along with serviceman Tom Haeder, to reach the nest, about 40 feet off the ground. The mother owl flew off when Avista arrived, but was seen circling nearby before returning to the nest.
We’re glad we could be there to help out.
Dec 22 , 2010
Each year around Christmas Eve, I help put together a Holiday Edition of our employee publication, The Avista e.view. For the last four years we’ve collected heartwarming stories of fun holiday traditions, charitable giving and winter-related goodness from the communities we serve.
The publication will come out tomorrow morning, but I wanted to give you a sneak peek at the article I submitted this year. It’s a personal one about charitable giving and my kids. Hope you enjoy the article below.
Giving the gift of giving to my kids
I feel blessed to be an Avista employee. For the past four years I’ve grown as a professional, but also on a personal level. The spirit of giving at Avista is evident throughout the year and it has certainly opened my eyes to the many well-deserving charitable organizations in the communities we serve.
My first-grader donates her Christmas gift to the
puppies and kitties at the Spokane Humane Society.
My kindergartner donates her Christmas gift to the
Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery.
Kids want presents, I understand that, but given the commercialism of our American holidays, it can easily become the focal point of the season. So this year when both of my kids came home from school with a page-long list of presents they wanted for Christmas, my wife and I thought it might be time to rethink the gift giving in our family.
Instead of buying them another Barbie accessory or some Justin Bieber swag, we gave our kids $25 each to donate to the charity of their choice. We called a family meeting and discussed the focus of half a dozen local charities. This was an interesting exercise to talk about what types of needs exist in our community and how fortunate we are to be able to give to others.
Our first grader decided she wanted to provide food for puppies and kitties. Her donation went to the Spokane Humane Society. She had a sheepish grin on her face when both employees behind the counter made it a point to thank her for her gift. Until she held the check in her hands and then went to the actual location where the money would be spent, I don’t think she really understood what it meant to give.
Our kindergartner wanted to help babies and their families. She decided the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery was the right place. With so many charities out there, I was a little surprised when she was so adamant that this was where she wanted her gift to go, but it made me very, very proud of her for understanding those needs at such a young age.
We hope to make this gift of charitable gift giving an annual holiday tradition for our kids. As they grow and learn more about the causes they care about I suspect they will look forward to helping give during the holidays, rather than just being on the receiving end.
Avista employees and our customers are very generous this time of year. If this article inspires you to give this year, I encourage you to donate to Avista’s Project Share Fund
Nov 02 , 2010
Avista's Energy Fair is scheduled for Saturday Nov. 6,
from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Spokane Community
College (SCC) Lair Student Center (Building 6), 1810
North Greene Street.
Post by Jessie Wuerst
What are you doing this Saturday? Fun, food, and oh, yes, some valuable information are the bills of fare at the Avista Energy Fair is scheduled for Saturday Nov. 6, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Spokane Community College (SCC) Lair Student Center (Building 6)
, 1810 North Greene Street. This is a great time of year to think about keeping your home warm and safe this winter.
The event will be filled with demonstrations and workshops on low cost, no cost energy efficiency tips to and provide information about billing assistance. In addition, community organizations, including Community Colleges of Spokane
, WorkSource Spokane
, Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery
and others, will be on hand to answer questions about employment assistance, weatherization, housing, childcare and other topics. A full list of exhibitors is available here: www.avistautilities.com/community/energyfair2010
And the best part is – it’s all FREE! Admission to the event includes access to all demonstrations and workshops, free samples of materials, complimentary food and beverages, and door prizes.
We are pleased once again to partner with Community Colleges of Spokane on the Energy Fair. The event provides a great way for customers to conveniently access Avista’s many services, as well as valuable community services. Information about payment options
, energy assistance
and energy efficiency
will be especially helpful to those struggling to pay their bills. The fair will also benefit anyone who wants to learn how to better manage their energy costs.”
Fair attendees can speak with Avista staff and learn first-hand about low-cost and no-cost energy efficiency tips and tricks. They’ll see how to install such things as rope caulking, window plastic and door sweeps to help keep the warm air in their homes and the cold air out. And following each demonstration, free samples of each item will be distributed.
For the kids, and the kids at heart, Wattson, Avista’s Energy Watchdog
, will guide attendees through fun, energy-focused crafts and presentations of his musical message of energy efficiency and safety.
Come on out and join us!