Nov 09 , 2010
At the end of each video a sharing menu appears, making it simple and easy to get the word out
At the end of each video this menu appears with several
options for sharing, including e-mail, Facebook, Twitter,
Google, Blogger, Wordpress and more.
Post by Dan Kolbet
Thousands of you have already browsed Energy On The Street
, our interactive customer engagement video project where we get answers to your most pressing questions. Earlier this month we added six new video Q&As, featuring topics such as rates, generation, rebates, renewables and bills. Today, 18 videos are available for you to view.
You can help spread the word about Energy on the Street
by watching your favorite video and sharing it. Here’s how it works – at the end of each video a black and gray menu appears on screen with several options for sharing. (It looks like the image above). You can share the link through e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Blogger, Wordpress and more.
Oct 20 , 2010
I have energy vampires living at my house. How about you?
Post by Dan Kolbet
I finally got up the Halloween decorations this weekend. Usually we take out the pumpkins, cob webs and other scary stuff about a month before the big day, but this year it just wasn’t a top priority for me. Nonetheless, I got it done last weekend.
My daughter, who is in the first grade helped me hang up the, albeit modest, decorations.. As you might expect, the discussion quickly turned to what she is going to be for Halloween. This conversation actually started months ago. I faintly remember her wanting to be a “Witch-Fairy-Kitty,” whatever the heck that is. We even bought her some of the pieces for a “Witch-Fairy-Kitty” costume, but for the life of me I can’t figure out how that’s all going to work.
If for no other reason than to simplify her costume creation – I convinced her to be a vampire! But not just any vampire – an energy vampire! I know it sounds dorky, but she’s in the first grade, everything is kind of dorky.
An energy vampire is something the sucks power/electricity when it’s actually turned off. For example, a large stereo, cable box, DVR – or even your coffee pot could be an energy vampire.
We’re still working on the costume, but I imagine it’ll involve fangs, face paint, a black cape and a power cord. The picture at the top is just the beginning. I’ll post a picture when the costume is finished.
We answered a customer question about vampire power, also known as parasitic power/load for Energy on the Street recently. Check out my co-worker Tom Lienhard’s answer.
Oct 07 , 2010
My favorite feature on the new Facebook page is the “Powermongers” tab. The video at the top of this blog post will tell you all you need to know about this group. Five housemates. One power bill. Four have a common goal: save energy. But one likes to waste it. Will they discover the Powermonger in time?
Can you tell who it is? Watch the video and find out. See anything familiar from your home?
If you’re an energy efficiency fan, you can also order a free Powermonger Awareness Kit
which features a T-Shirt, CFL, poster, energy efficiency tips and other cool stuff.
Sep 24 , 2010
Where does renewable power come from?
Avista Stadium is powered 100% by renewable energy through Avista's Block-a-Block program. Where does that energy come from? (0:37)
This video is just one of the Energy on the Street
customer questions and Avista answers. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to visit this interactive website. It launched on Sept. 1. We'll be adding more videos to the website in October.
Sep 15 , 2010
In late August four teams of Avista electric linemen participated in the annual internal Pole Top Rescue competition. Teams competed to rescue “Joe” who had come into electrical contact on the top of a pole.
The teams weren’t just racing for the best time, but were also being judged on communication, climbing, handling the victim, checking vital signs and activities on the ground, such as CPR.
The winning team advanced onto the prelims and then hopefully to the state finals.
These sorts of exercises stress the importance of safety on the job and reiterate the necessary skills that every lineman practices in case of an emergency in the field.
Watch the video to check out the sights and sounds of the competition.
Aug 31 , 2010
Avista crews compete in pole-top rescue
Just a quick little video. I was invited by Avista’s Safety and Health department to our training center today to watch our crews compete in an internal, pole-top rescue competition. They compete to rescue a co-worker who is stuck in some way at the top of a utility pole.
They actually let me up in a bucket truck to shoot it (preceded by a safety briefing and a securely fit harness). Pretty cool. I’ll get the full video loaded in a day or two, but wanted to let everyone know it’s coming.
Aug 17 , 2010
Hey, everyone. I wanted to share a quick clip of the video I took on the Spokane River last week.
This video shows the removal and relocation of accumulated rock, gravel and sediment at Monroe Street Dam. The crane grabs the materials and places them over the dam and back into the river. This material is the stuff that naturally flows downriver, but collects behind the dam.
My co-worker Communications Manager Anna Scarlett told me that analytical results of materials sampled back in July indicated that sediments were within Washington’s acceptable standards for contaminants. Relocation of the materials over the spillway back into the river is required by federal and state permits to operate the project, and redistributing the materials back into the river will allow them to continue to serve as a potential gravel source for spawning habitat in the Spokane River system.
More work on the river will continue in the next few weeks as we study whether channel modifications can be made to enhance aesthetic flows in the north and middle channels during periods of low river flow.
Aug 12 , 2010
Three of the fine gentlemen I met at Home Depot
who visited Avista's educational stations.
Yesterday was National 811 Awareness Day. Avista and the Spokane Valley Home Depot celebrated this day of safety with an in-store event. Avista staffed three booths throughout the store, each focusing on a different element of 811 and reminding us all to call two days before you dig on your property.
In the couple of hours I was there, Home Depot customers were visiting the booths and getting their “passports” signed. Visitors earned a T-Shirt for visiting two booths. Home Depot also donated a nice BBQ grill as a raffle prize.
Check out this minute and a half video about the event, featuring Operations Tech Alicia Gibbs. And remember to always call before you dig.
Aug 04 , 2010
Yesterday morning I was working at my desk when I heard a broadcast-quality voice coming from somewhere behind me. Something about a planned power outage. I heard it again. And again.
Then I went to investigate.
The voice was my co-worker, Communications Manager Hugh Imhof, recording phone messages that will be sent to customers who will experience a planned power outage in the near future. Since it’s construction season we’re upgrading and replacing portions of our system, which sometimes requires a short power outage. We want to make sure you know about them beforehand, whenever possible.
One of the best ways to let customers know is to call them, although door hangers and other means may also be applied depending on the location and circumstances.
I hear from a lot of people online who ask where Avista is tightening its belt and being more efficient – this is a great example of where it is happening every day. Hugh was recording three planned power outage messages for this week.
Our automated phone system (we call it EVP) is being used to gain efficiencies wherever possible. For example, earlier this year around 1,400 of our customers in Idaho had to be contacted by Avista. Previously two or three customer service representatives would handle the live calls – a process that could take up to a week. This year with EVP, it took two hours – a tremendous savings in time and money.
This system is also being used for updates on real-time power outages, inquires to customers about bills, and to handle many transactions when you call us at 1-800-227-9187. We want to make sure we always deliver great customer service to you, so my co-workers worked hard to make this system a reality and it’s certainly paying off.
Hugh isn’t the only voice you’ll hear if you get a phone call from us, you may also hear Communications Manager Laurine Jue and others. I invite you to watch a quick Q and A video that Hugh and I recorded about the messages he was recording yesterday.
Jul 13 , 2010
Project gets answers to your most pressing energy questions
|Many attendees of Chataqua 2010, in Chewelah were kind enough to talk
energy with us last weekend. There is still time for you to participate,
contact us at Conversation@Avistautilities.com
“Are you an Avista customer? Can I talk to you about energy?” I think I said that about a thousand times on Friday.
As part of a project called Energy on the Street
, we’re interviewing Avista customers by getting their opinions and questions about energy on video. Friday I was at Chataqua 2010 in Chewelah, Wash.
, talking to customers from Stevens County (and all over Washington and Idaho) about what they care about regarding energy and Avista.
We’re not just getting questions from you – we’re answering them too. Avista employees are providing answers to these questions, also on camera. Both the question and the answer will be posted later this summer on our conversation website.
Want to get in on the action? We’ll be at Coeur d’Alene City Park tomorrow for a few hours starting at 11 a.m. On Friday we’ll be in downtown Spokane at or near the STA Plaza in the afternoon and then at the Avista Stadium outer concourse at 5:30 p.m. until game time.
Look for the white shirts that say “Avista” on the front and “Ask Avista” on the back. Trust me, you can’t miss us.
What are people asking? They want to know about rates and costs, energy efficiency, renewable power, climate change and what the future of energy really looks like. I was pleased with how open and willing the customers I met on Friday were to talk about energy, especially since we were grabbing them out of the blue during a community event.
If you’re interested in getting a question answered on camera by an Avista employee (and you can’t come to the events listed above), send us an e-mail at Conversation@Avistautilities.com