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Dec 10 , 2009
Post by Dan Kolbet
There was an interesting article published yesterday in the Shoshone News Press, by reporter Sarah Rose Fredlund called, “Avista pushes for greener energy” that’s worth a look. The article came about after Avista Utilities President Dennis Vermillion made a visit to the Kellogg, Idaho area a week or so ago.

Here’s the opening line of the article to get you interested, “While energy consumption is increasing due to use of advanced technology and appliances, Avista Utilities is developing different projects to explore efficient and renewable energy.”
Published: 12/10/2009  8:21 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Dec 10 , 2009
Report an outage
We’ve recently added a new feature to the Avista Utilities website that allows you to report a power outage. Of course, you’ve always been able to call our 1-800-227-9187 customer service number to report an outage, but many people like quick web interactions and we’re serving that need.

“Several years ago, when we were planning what to offer on the web, we looked at the E Source survey results info to determine what customers want on a site,” said Systems Business Analyst Janna Leaf. “Customers clearly indicated to E Source that they want the ability to report an outage on the web. So it's always been our intention to offer the service to our customers, and I believe this will be a great option for our customers.”

In today’s age of technology, it simply makes sense to be able to report an outage on the web.

The new feature offers the same self service options as the current telephone outage reporting system. The customer goes here and reports the outage using an address, phone number or account number. The information provided must match an Avista customer with electric service. We’ve also placed safeguards on information to ensure privacy.

You also get the opportunity to provide detailed outage information, such descriptions of what you saw or heard such as “saw arcing wire” or “heard loud bang” to better assist dispatchers.

Another feature with reporting an outage includes the option of a call back request if there is a change in resolution time or when power is restored. You can also view maps of your area to see how many outages are around you.

No power, no access right?
We all know you can’t use your desktop computer if your power is out. With today’s wireless culture, the new outage reporting function serves the needs of customers who prefer instant online communication and are wireless. The person making the outage report could also be a third party reporting on behalf of the customer.

Reporting an outage on the web is a great option for customers with internet on a mobile phone or wireless laptops. The site may not work on all mobile browsers. In that case, the 1-800-227-9187 number is the best bet.

Another good example of reporting an outage online is when a child comes home after school and there is no power, they can call a parent who can report the outage from their computer or phone.

Avista strives to keep in step with the technology that is being used by our customers. Having the option to report an outage online is another step forward in the right direction.
Published: 12/10/2009  8:09 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Dec 09 , 2009
Mousetrap cars on display
Mousetrap cars on display.
When you think of alternatively-powered cars you might think of solar, natural gas, or even hybrid-electric, but I bet mousetraps don’t come to mind. Unless you’re from Kettle Falls, Wash., where they’ve got the mousetrap car down to a science. A science project that is.

Shane Heideman, who teaches science at Kettle Falls Middle School, designed a semester-long project to help students learn the basics of energy and get them thinking about how alternative resources can help decrease greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels.

When Avista was approached by the school to take part in the project, we welcomed the opportunity to partner with the community and help support science education.

Approximately 120 7th and 8th graders, working in teams of 3-4, were given the assignment to develop, construct and market an alternatively-powered car. The only requirements were that the car be built using a mousetrap as the propellant, and that it be able to move three meters under its own power. Teams also had to develop a tri-fold marketing brochure and be ready to race their cars at the end of the project.

Timing the races.
A mousetrap car shoots across the
gym floor. An Avista employee
records the time. 
We helped provide information for the students’ research, speaking to them about our resource mix and how we make our renewable energy. We also showed them our Sun Car.

Student teams put in several weeks of working on the cars and brochures, and their hard work culminated in a race and brochure contest in late November. Avista joined in the fun by providing a guest judging panel and prizes to the teams with the best entries. The teams with the fastest cars in three rounds won cash prizes to split among team members.

The students were excited about their awards and proud of their hard work, and we had a great time helping out on the big day.
Published: 12/9/2009  8:11 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Dec 08 , 2009
Holiday image
Post by Dan Kolbet
If you go to any department store or supermarket around town, you’re likely to find a display of gift cards. Gift cards or gift certificates have really become the default gift for the holidays. They are quick and easy for the gift giver, but also more useful to the recipient than a fruit cake. (No offense fruit cake lovers).

Winter is definitely here. My car read -1 degree outside when I drove in this morning. You know that your heating bill (and that of your friends and family) will be larger than in the past few months, despite significant decreases in natural gas costs. So, why not give the gift of energy this year by ordering an Avista Housewarming Gift Certificate for those on your shopping list?

For the first time, Avista’s Housewarming Gift Certificates can be ordered through our website. The certificates are available in any domination and with no expiration date. A Housewarming Gift Certification can be given to a customer who applies it toward their Avista energy bill as a credit.

You don’t have to be a customer to order an Avista Housewarming Gift Certificate for someone, or even a business, on your shopping list.

There are no administration or processing fees of any kind associated with the gift certificates. Your total gift certificate amount goes directly to your recipient. Processing time may take up to five business days.

Because need doesn’t know a season, the gift certificates are available year round. More information on the Avista Housewarming Gift Certificate and an order form are available here.
Published: 12/8/2009  10:21 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

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