May 30 , 2012
Cover of Shared Value Report
 
 
Over the past few years, we’ve heard from our customers and employees that they want more information on how we do business in areas like utility operations, environmental stewardship and our community impact. We’re glad you asked!

That information and more is available in our fourth annual report on our performance, “Together We Will Build Shared Value,” now online at avistautilities.com.
 
Our primary mission is to provide the energy you need for your life. The back story is all about what goes into providing that energy and how often this has additional benefits to the customers and communities we serve. That’s shared value.

In this year’s report, we tell many stories of how shared value is created throughout our business. For example, in the Utility Operations section we talk about how Avista must meet state-mandated energy savings targets. As part of our sustainable business practices, the report is published online only. 
 
We’ve made PDF files available of the entire report and four of its sections for your convenience in sharing the report with others.

Shared value is at the heart of what Avista does every day. We hope you’ll take the time to read this year’s report and give us your feedback. We want to hear from you about how – together – we can continue to build shared value.

 
Published: 5/30/2012  8:43 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

May 04 , 2012
Post By Laurine Jue

Smart Grid Web Portal

Thanks to new Smart Grid technology, approximately 6,500 Pullman customers can now access their real-time energy usage simply by logging onto their “My Avista” account. It’s the latest milestone in Avista’s Smart Grid Demonstration Project that’s underway in Pullman.

Avista has joined with regional partners, led by Battelle, to develop a smart grid demonstration project using matching stimulus funds from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The intent of the demonstration project is to show how smart grid technology can enhance the safety, reliability and efficiency of energy delivery on a regional and national level.

The past two years have been spent designing, constructing and installing complex technology, including advanced meters, in the Pullman area that create the foundation for secure, two-way, wireless communication between customer meters and Avista.

As part of the demonstration project, Avista recently started a one-year study designed to test whether access to energy usage information has any potential impact on peoples’ behavior.

Approximately 6,500 randomly-selected customers in the Pullman area were given access to a special advanced meter web portal that lets them view their energy usage down to the hour, make adjustments and start saving energy based on their energy choices and behavior. They can see charts and graphs that track changes or trends and make more informed decisions about how to use energy. 

The remaining customers in the Pullman area will not have access to the special Advanced Meter Web Portal until April 2013 when the study period concludes.

Studies like this are helping Avista learn how new technologies can enhance the safety, reliability and efficiency of energy delivery for all of our customers.
Published: 5/4/2012  3:15 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Apr 25 , 2012
Kill-A-Watt kit
Avista donation makes 36 kits available to Spokane County Library District

Blog post by Dan Kolbet
 
The Spokane County Library District (SCLD) has teamed up with Avista to make Kill-A-Watt devices available for check out. Kill-A-Watt is a small meter that measures the energy used by individual appliances to assess how efficient the appliances really are. Avista donated 36 Kill-A-Watt kits to SCLD.

With your library card, Kill-A-Watt devices may be checked out from any SCLD library for up to two weeks. Plug in the appliance you would like to measure and the Kill-A-Watt device will calculate how much energy you’re using and what it costs.

“Partnering with the Spokane County Library District is a great way to make the Kill-A-Watt devices available to everyone in our community interested in energy efficiency,” said Chris Drake, Avista’s manager for energy efficiency programs. “Knowing how much energy appliances and home electronics in our home use can help make smart choices and encourage energy-saving behavior. Every little bit really does add up to energy savings.”

The Kill-A-Watt program can help you compare energy costs of an appliance you own now with projected costs listed on any new one you might buy. Now you’ll know if it is time for a new refrigerator or that old TV should be unplugged when you are not using it.

Home Energy Savings Events for you
Date: April 28, 2012
 
Spokane Valley, 10 a.m.; North Spokane Library, 2 p.m.
 
Learn low-cost and no-cost ways to manage your energy use with easy tips to improve your energy efficiency. Plus, Ana Matthews will demonstrate the “Kill-A-Watt,” a small meter you can check out from the library. Plug this device into your appliances to see how much energy you’re using and what it costs. Sponsored by Avista

Also read
Avista Blog, October 19, 2010 “Bringing energy awareness to my home.” Communications Specialist Sarah Richards checked out a Kill-a-Watt meter from the Idaho Public Library.
 
 
Visit the SCLD
 
 
Published: 4/25/2012  2:50 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Apr 16 , 2012
Enter to win
It could be as easy as making a small commitment to energy efficiency
 
 
Avista, KREM 2’s Project Green and Toyota have teamed up again in support of energy efficiency with one lucky person winning a new Prius C donated by Toyota.

For a chance to win the Prius C, donated by Toyota, viewers need to watch for the daily keyword during KREM news broadcasts from April 9 to May 23, and then enter the keywords at KREM.com. Avista customers can get two bonus entries by making a commitment to energy efficiency at everylittlebit.com and by “liking” Every Little Bit on Facebook. The deadline for entries is May 23 with the drawing on May 31.

The purpose of the campaign is to increase customer awareness and engagement in the importance of energy efficiency. For over 30 years, Avista has been helping customers become more energy efficient by offering programs and rebates to make home improvements and by providing valuable tools such as our online energy advisor. When it comes to energy, Avista knows efficiency matters and every little bit adds up.

Our region’s energy needs are growing, but building or purchasing new sources of` power including renewable energy isn’t cheap. Energy efficiency costs half the amount of generating new power and is the best approach to maximizing our existing resources.

KREM 2 Project Green showcases the company’s concern for the environment regarding energy efficiency, recycling and transportation. Toyota, which donated the Prius C, is proud to be constantly striving to provide the best possible driving experience while using the smallest amount of our natural resources. It’s a great partnership.

While just one person will win the Prius C, everyone participating in the campaign will be an energy efficiency winner. Through KREM news coverage about the importance of energy efficiency and information on Avista’s everylittlebit.com site about rebates and energy savings tips, viewers and customers can learn how to better manage their energy use.
Published: 4/16/2012  9:42 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Mar 20 , 2012
Click to get your Powermonger Awareness Kit
 

 
If you are into free things, and who isn’t especially in this economy, you might know about the Today Show’s blog, hip2save.com. They frequently post information about coupons, money-saving offers, frugal deals and steals and free stuff. This month, they featured Avista’s free Powermonger Energy Awareness kit. As a result, the request for these kits has been through the roof.

Order your kit
Get your Powermonger Awareness Kit at
www.facebook.com/everylittlebit
You can get yours too*, but you have to be an Avista customer who rents in order to receive the energy savings kit. If you fit that bill, all you have to do is “like” Avista’s Every Little Bit Facebook page at facebook.com/everylittlebit to get a free Powermonger Awareness Kit. While you’re there, you can also check out an interactive online thermostat to find out how much you could save by simply adjusting your thermostat.
 
The kit features include:
• Energy Use and Savings Guide
• Conserve Power Timer Socket
• Energy Saving Tip Booklet
• Fridge Reminder Magnets
• "Shower Coach" 5-Minute Shower Timer
• Switch and Socket Insulators
• Shrink-Fit Window Insulation Film

When it comes to energy efficiency, every little bit adds up. We are here to help you understand the importance of energy efficiency and provide you with tips and the resources to help make your home more energy efficient. For more information about energy savings, visit http://www.everylittlebit.com.

*Powemonger Awareness kits available as long as supplies last, so what are you waiting for?
Published: 3/20/2012  2:49 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Mar 06 , 2012
Avista makes little changes that add up to energy savings – you can too
 
Who says you can’t reduce your energy usage without suffering the consequences of an inconvenient temperature setting? Well … Avista does.

Programmable thermostat
To help reduce energy use, Avista
 optimized its programmable ther-
mostats in the building, like the
one shown above. Installing and
programming a programmable the-
rmostat is one of the many low-cost
ways to save on energy. You can
learn more about finding the right
thermostat for you by visiting
http://www.energystar.gov.
And we don’t just say it, we did it. In fact, Avista did it by making small heating, venting and air conditioning (HVAC) improvements throughout our 14,024 square-foot service center located in Spokane Valley, Wash. Avista optimized programmable thermostats in the building, improved the air distribution system and installed stand-alone heat pumps in unoccupied spaces. Since those changes in 2009, Avista has saved 48,000 kilowatt hours, reducing its electric use by about nine percent. Those small changes also moved Avista into the top quarter of similarly compared energy efficient buildings, earning the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star certification.

Striving for the Energy Star a three-fold benefit
By becoming Energy Star certified, Avista serves its customers better by reducing its costs and becoming more efficient with the energy we all use and depend on.

Reducing energy use also helps protect the environment, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Avista employees gave the changes a thumbs-up as well. The team who worked on the improvements made sure to provide the right level of comfort and convenience for those that work there.

Energy Star Certficate
Small changes do make a difference. Making
small heating, venting and air conditioning
(HVAC) improvements throughout Avista’s
14,024 square-foot service center located in
Spokane Valley, Wash., has garnered the
official Energy Star certification. Only the top
quarter buildings in the nation are awarded the
certification.
Over time, little changes can add up. Here a few things you can do in your home to help make a difference.

• Setting your thermostat three degrees lower in cold weather can reduce your heating bill approximately 10 percent. A good cold weather setting is 68 degrees Fahrenheit while you’re home and 65 degrees Fahrenheit at night or while you’re away. This does not apply to an air source heat pump, which may rely on emergency heat to bring the temperature back. Using a programmable thermostat will automatically make the adjustments for you – set it, and forget it.

• Replace your furnace filter once a month. Dirty filters block airflow and make your system work harder.

• Homes breathe and move, so caulking that is several years old may have pulled away from surfaces because of wind, rain and temperature changes. Look for old caulk that needs replacing, then re-caulk around windows, doors and other places where two dissimilar materials meet up. An easy way to check for leaks around doors is to have someone run a flashlight around the exterior door jam at night while you stand inside in the dark. If you see light, fix or add weather-stripping in that location. Also, think about anything added to your home during the year that may have penetrated walls, and fill in those penetrations.

• Water heating is the second largest consumer of energy in the home. A good setting for the water heater temperature is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a dishwasher, check the manufacturer’s instructions for the suggested temperature.

Customers can take advantage of many energy efficiency equipment rebates and weatherization programs offered by Avista. Learn more about energy efficiency at http://www.everylittlebit.com.
Published: 3/6/2012  9:23 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Mar 05 , 2012
A first-hand account of my experience with Avista's home energy audit program
 
 
Blower door test
The blower door test detects excess air escaping and entering
your home.
For about the same price as you’d pay for a nice dinner out or a ski lift ticket on Mount Spokane, you can purchase an in-home energy audit if you live within Spokane County. Sure, dinner or skiing sounds like much more fun, but a home energy audit provides a lot of advantages, some obvious and some not so obvious. Here are five reasons why you should consider signing up for an audit with Avista Utilities. I just had my audit done last weekend, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. 
 

1. A home energy audit can save your life. If your home uses natural gas or propane, the certified home energy contractor may find safety hazards, such as an appliance or furnace that produces unsafe levels of carbon monoxide. Peace of mind is priceless and it’s always nice to know if your home passes the test or not.

2. For as low as $49, you get a tremendous amount of value out of a home energy audit. Not only does a professional certified contractor inspect your home, but after the audit you get a box full of energy efficiency goodies from Avista. (see photo) Our home energy auditors were BPI Certified, which is the standard for all Avista in-home energy audit contractors.
 

3. What you find out may surprise you. Home energy pros can find problems and opportunities that you might miss – even if you are a devoted energy saver, the pros have equipment that finds problems that might otherwise have gone unnoticed such as pesky leaks in your home’s ductwork.  
 
4. The blower door test is as cool as it sounds. Oh my goodness, you will be shocked by how many air leaks this technology detects in your home. The blower door is a tool that depressurizes your home and stimulates a 20 mph wind blowing on all surfaces of your home simultaneously. This causes outside air to rush through holes in your home’s exterior envelope. The largest air leak in my home was coming from the flue vent in our unfinished basement. We can easily remedy that by capping the vent. Something we never would have thought of before this audit. Outlets and light switches are also a common culprit.  Avista provides outlet and light switch insulators in the  goody box provided to you at the end of your audit.
 

Energy efficiency kit
With every home energy audit, you get a
box full of items that will help you
improve your homes energy efficiency.
5. Knowledge is the key to savings. Ever wonder how your energy use compares to others? After your in-home audit, you get a detailed report in the mail about your homes energy use as well as helpful recommendations on what you can do to increase the energy efficiency of your home. In my opinion, this is one of the most valuable pieces of information a homeowner can have. The recommendations will help me prioritize my home improvement projects for years to come.
Are you ready to maximize your energy efficiency? Good! Find out if your home qualifies for the in-home energy audit here.
 
You can also find more information about Avista’s energy efficiency programs at everylittlebit.com. Once you have registered for the In-Home Energy Audit, completed the Online Home Energy Analyzer, and your payment has been received by Avista, a representative from one of Avista’s certified home energy auditing contractors will call you within 10 business days of the receipt of your payment to schedule your in-home energy audit.

The popular program is ending in September so make sure to sign up for an audit by August 15.
Published: 3/5/2012  4:27 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Feb 22 , 2012
elb video
North Idaho Christian student Brian Pfau is the 2011 Grand Prize winner for his “One Green World” video. North Idaho Christian School, in Hayden, Idaho, will receive a $2,500 technology grant from Avista.
 
Students create short videos to show how every little bit adds up for energy savings
 
Back in December, Avista announced an opportunity for young and aspiring directors and actors to put their creative juices to work and make a short video about energy efficiency through the Every Little Bit Video Contest. After many submissions and tough decisions, several talented and lucky high school students were selected as the third annual Every Little Bit Video winners.

North Idaho Christian student Brian Pfau is the 2011 Grand Prize winner for his “One Green World” video (see video above). North Idaho Christian School, in Hayden, Idaho, will receive a $2,500 technology grant from Avista.

Zane Bickham, Patrick Old and Aneesh Pappu of Pullman High School in Pullman, Wash., are the 2011 Viewer’s Choice Award winners for their film, “Dreaming Of A Cleaner World.” Their school will receive a $1,500 technology grant from Avista.

Runner-up and honorable mention award winners are from East Valley High School in Spokane Valley, Wash., and Pullman High School. View the top six videos at everylittlebit.com. 

Nearly 50 videos were submitted for judging. Students promoted their videos and viewers were able to vote for their favorites online at everylittlebit.com.
 
A big “congratulations” to all the winners and a tip of the cap to all the submissions. All the videos demonstrated an undeniable truth – everyone wins with energy efficiency.
Published: 2/22/2012  10:04 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Jan 16 , 2012
Impacted: Energy Star dishwashers, clothes washers and fireplace dampers in Wash./Idaho
 
Example form
If your energy efficiency improvements for 2012 include buying an Energy Star dishwasher or clothes washer or installing a fireplace damper insert, make sure to submit your Avista energy efficiency rebate form by March 30, 2012. After that date, the rebate for an Energy Star clothes washer will be reduced to $25 and rebates for a fireplace damper insert and Energy Star dishwasher will be discontinued.

The changes are part of an on-going analysis by Avista’s energy efficiency experts to make sure our rebates line up with products and equipment that will provide the most energy savings for the dollar. The impacted rebates are/were only available in Idaho and Washington.

Lots of rebates remain for upgrading to high efficiency equipment like furnaces and water heaters and for other energy efficiency improvements around your home. Visit us at www.everylittlebit.com, where you can also learn about rebates for commercial and industrial customers.

Energy efficiency helps individual customers reduce their energy use during a time when energy costs continue to rise. Energy efficiency is a benefit to Avista too. Long-term, using less energy helps all customers by allowing us to delay building or acquiring more expensive generation to meet customer needs.

And, it costs less per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to help customers reduce their energy use through energy efficiency programs than it costs to purchase or generate new power to meet customer needs. Using our resources wisely has a positive impact on our community and on our environment.

I admit that I’m partial - I think Avista’s energy efficiency rebates are great. Along with thousands of other Avista customers, my family has received rebates for energy efficiency upgrades we’ve made that have helped us reduce our energy use while making our home more comfortable. You just can’t beat that combination.
 
Published: 1/16/2012  12:08 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Dec 08 , 2011
Post by Debbie Simock
 
When you look around your garage, shed or home, can you spot what could be costing you up to $100 a year to run?  If you have a refrigerator or freezer built before 1990, it’s consuming up to four times more energy than a new, more efficient model and costing you more to use.

Recycle
With Avista’s Refrigerator Recycling Program, you can earn $30 to recycle your old refrigerator or freezer. You also have the option of donating your rebate to Project Share - a customer, community and Avista funded program that provides one-time emergency energy assistance to help families in need in our region.

Here’s what you need to do:
• Be an Avista electric customer
• Own the appliance you want to recycle
• Make sure your unit is in good working condition
• See if it was manufactured in 1995 or earlier
• Call (877) 577-0510 to schedule a free pickup or visit everylittlebit.com for more information
• When scheduling  your refrigerator or freezer pick-up, let the customer representatives know if you would like to donate your rebate to Project Share

Our partner JACO Environmental will pick up your old refrigerator or freezer which will be dismantled and recycled through a process that returns up to 95 percent of each unit back into the manufacturing stream.

If you’re purchasing a new Energy Star refrigerator or freezer, check out our energy efficiency appliance rebates at everylittlebit.com.
Published: 12/8/2011  4:27 PM | 1  Comment | 0  Links to this post

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