Nov 21 , 2011
Whitworth student body president Eric Fullerton is
joined by Avista’s Chris Drake for a special award
Whitworth’s Cornerstone Hall was one of the top
three living groups in the entire competition. Here,
students receive a $500 award to be used for non-
energy consuming dorm improvements.
Students earn school the title of Most Energy Efficient University in 2011, via Power Down, Add Up
Pirates know how to Power Down, Add Up - at least the ones at Whitworth University do. The school celebrated October’s National Energy Awareness Month by competing in (and earning top honors for) the Avista Power Down, Add Up, energy conservation challenge between all the universities in Avista’s service territory.
Together with students from Washington State University, the University of Idaho, Gonzaga University, and North Idaho College, students recorded an estimated savings of 78,470 kilowatt hours, which is enough power to supply 2,841 homes for a day.
At the end of the competition it was Whitworth students who conserved the most energy, earning them the title of Avista’s Most Energy Efficient University in 2011.
Congratulations to everyone who participated. The energy efficiency habits learned through this challenge should serve you well for the rest of your collegiate career and beyond.
Nov 10 , 2011
Joe Brabeck, manager of Avista’s Home Energy Audit
Program on camera with KHQ's morning show,
discussing Avista and energy efficiency.
Some days start a lot earlier than others. This morning between 5:00 and 6:15 a.m., Avista’s own Joe Brabeck, manager of Avista’s Home Energy Audit Program, shared tips with KHQ’s Matt Rodgers on low-cost ways to make your home more energy efficient this winter. Because making sure that the warm air you heat stays in your home is important to everyone, here’s what you can do:
1. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs or LEDs lights.
2. Set back the thermostat at night or when at work to 68 degrees. For convenience, install a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust the temperature for you. If you have a heat pump, look for a programmable thermostat that is compatible with it.
3. Check the furnace filter every month and change it when dirty. Pleated paper filters remove finer particles and need more frequent changing.
4. Keep the hot water tank set to approximately 120 degrees.
5. Seal air leaks around doors, windows and behind light switch plates and outlet covers. If you can see daylight through a crack/gap, you are losing heat from your home.
6. Take advantage of the radiant heating of the sun by opening curtains/blinds on the south and west side of the house on sunny days. Close drapes on cold, cloudy days and at night.
Nov 08 , 2011
The last turbine to be upgraded at Noxon Rapids Dam was removed from service on Oct. 19, 2011. Avista's Brandi Smith interviewed project engineer P.J. Henscheid on the big day. See the video above.
The removal of the turbine is part of a $45 million project to upgrade four original generating units with newer, more efficient technology. The project started in July 2008 and is on schedule to be finished by spring 2012.
Nov 04 , 2011
Last evening more than 350 individuals stopped by Avista’s Energy Fair at the West Central Community Center in Spokane. Fairgoers were treated to energy efficiency demonstrations and provided free samples to get their home projects underway this heating season. It’s time to keep the warm air in and the cold air out.
Community agencies: SNAP, Second Harvest Food Bank, Money Management Int. and WorkSource were on hand to provide information.
Avista customer service representatives met with customers on site and discussed any account or billing questions.
Kids of all ages learned about energy, energy efficiency and safety from Wattson, Avista’s Energy Watchdog, who sang and danced his way into their hearts.
A hearty meal was also provided through Christ Kitchen.
Events like this are free to the community, but often are invaluable for our customers. Similar events, which are staffed by Avista employees, have been held previously in Spokane, Coeur d’Alene and Clarkston. Stay tuned to the blog for the next event in early 2012.
Oct 18 , 2011
Hockey Night in Spokane is also energy efficiency night
Avista is hosting an energy efficiency night with the Spokane Chiefs on Friday, Oct. 21. The event will help raise awareness of energy efficiency and Avista’s programs. Employees from Demand Side Management will staff an informational table at the Spokane Arena to share information and answer customers questions.
Throughout the night the Chiefs will announce energy efficiency tips and feature performances by Wattson, Avista’s energy watchdog.
The first 5,000 attendees will receive a souvenir flashing glow light – perfect for trick or treating safety. Attendees will also be able to enter to win an energy efficient washer and dryer. Sorry, employees aren’t eligible.
Avista employees are encouraged to stop by the informational table to show your support and say hello to your co-workers who will be sharing the message of energy efficiency with our customers.
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 03 , 2011
Students using less energy, building good habits during Energy Awareness Month
Post by Dan Kolbet
Avista is again celebrating Energy Awareness month with a friendly competition between local university students called Power Down, Add Up, promoting energy efficient behavior with a population famous for their love of electronic devices and long, hot showers. The challenge aims to show students just how easy it is to reduce the amount of energy they use and how it all adds up in the end.
Power Down, Add Up is a competition in which students living in on-campus dorms or Greek housing compete against one another to use less energy during October. In its second year, the competition has grown from its inaugural competitors, Washington State University and Gonzaga University, to also include Whitworth University, North Idaho College and the University of Idaho. Last year during the month of October, students at Gonzaga and Washington State universities saved enough energy to light 591 homes for a day. Gonzaga won the challenge.
“We are excited to have every university that is an Avista electric customer involved this year,” said Chris Drake, lead energy efficiency program manager for Avista. “We can’t wait to see how much energy the collective efforts of these students can save. We hope to help students build good energy-saving habits before they’re out on their own paying an energy bill.”
Resident Advisors at each school are encouraging students to take simple steps like turning off electronics and unplugging chargers when not in use, turning off lights when leaving a room, and not letting the hot water run unused. When simple actions like these get pooled together they make a big collective impact.
“We know energy efficiency is the lowest cost, best new source of energy,” Drake said. “We are encouraging people to use less energy and preserve existing resources that may reduce the amount of new power plants in the future.”
Students will track their efforts using an online diary, and the three living groups that have the most energy saving activities will receive prizes. The winning university will receive a traveling trophy and bragging rights for a year to commemorate their savings. Avista will announce the winners in early November. Visit www.everylittlebit.com/powerdownaddup to track schools’ energy savings and see who’s in the lead.
Energy Awareness Month is a good reminder there are many things everyone can do to save energy, not only in October, but year round. To learn more about Avista’s energy efficiency programs, information and rebates, visit www.everylittlebit.com. You can also find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/everylittlebit.
Sep 20 , 2011
Post by Dan Kolbet
Chris Drake, an Avista energy efficiency expert, joined KHQ during its noon NewsBreak, a live web stream, on Monday Sept. 19. He provides some great tips for energy efficiency in the winter.
To watch the video, click on the picture to the right, select the video“6 ways to save on your electricity bill this winter.” The video is four minutes and 30 seconds long. Sorry to send you to another website to view the video, but I can’t embed the video in its current You format.
You'll click on this graphic when you get to KHQ.com:
Sep 19 , 2011
Since today we announced a new lowest price for the In-Home Energy Audits (as low as $49), I thought it would be nice to show you what these audits actually do for you and your home. Watch the video above to find out.
Sep 19 , 2011
700 Spokane County homeowners have already benefitted from energy audit
Today Avista announced a reduction in the costs for In-Home Energy Audits for Spokane County homeowners. The energy audits, which provide specific recommendations to help homeowners make informed decisions about actions they can take to help save energy, are now available for as low as $49.
I was lucky enough to be at one of the first energy audits we conducted as part of this program. You’d be surprised about the stuff the auditors find about your home and energy usage – some stuff you might not expect.
To date, nearly 700 homeowners have participated in the program. The majority of these homeowners have taken action, based on the energy audit recommendations, to make their homes more energy efficient and thus use less energy.
The cost range for the audits, $49 to $325, depends on which funding sources the homeowners are eligible to receive. Non-Avista customers can sign up for audits and are eligible for funding through their respective city or county, but are not eligible for Avista energy efficiency funds.
Residents living anywhere within the boundaries of Spokane County can visit www.avistautilities.com/savings/inhomeaudit
to watch a video about the audits, learn how much funding they qualify for and how to start the audit process.
So, why just Spokane County?
Fair question. Typically a pilot program is started on a small scale and, if successful, expanded into larger areas. Spokane County was chosen based on its size, population density and availability of trained home auditors. In addition three local Spokane based governments made federal/state stimulus funds available through their Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants. If successful the program may be expanded throughout the Avista service area.