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The Avista Blog’s Top 10 Best Posts of 2009   

Tags: Avista Utilities, Video

Post by Dan Kolbet

Everyone is writing the Top 10 “Best of 2009” or “Best of the Decade” lists. The Avista Blog has only been around since June 2009, so we’re only working with six months of material (113 posts), but still think we can offer up a few favorites.

So I’ll get this out of the way up front – this post is a bit self-serving. Listing the best of your own and your co-workers’ work over the year means that only the good stuff gets the spotlight. I’d be happy if you all would create your own Top 5 or 10 and post it in the comment section below, but until then, here’s my take on the Avista Blog’s Top 10 Best Blog Posts of 2009 and why they matter to Avista customers.

1. Transparency in action - Why did I get an insert with my bill? Aug. 17
In the first part of August, Washington customers received a flyer in the mail about Avista’s Washington General Rate case that had been filed in January 2009. Some customers wondered why we were asking for rates changes again. This post, and the following day’s post, “Today’s online chatter about Washington rates,” gave us the opportunity to talk about the lengthy, 11-month rates review process in Washington.

Excerpt: Part of the 11-month process is allowing time for public comments. This flyer, which details the request, provides you an opportunity to share your thoughts with the commission. Included is a tear-off postcard you can mail to the commission with your thoughts. Also included on the insert are the dates and times for public hearings if you’d like to attend. These notices and meetings aren’t new. Both are a part of the on-going process for setting energy prices. Continue reading this post.

2. Video: Noxon Rapids Dam upgrades underway, massive Unit 3 turbine removed, Oct. 30
Watch video
There is so much you can do with video that might just be lost in a regular blog post. This post, our first to really explore the value of video helped show upgrade and efficiency work happening at Avista’s Noxon Rapids Dam.

3. Decision on Washington rate case due by Dec. 23, Dec. 18
So, why would a post, about something that hasn’t happened yet, matter to this list? It’s all about transparency. When we first started blogging, a few naysayers thought we’d avoid the touchy subjects like rates. We knew the rate decision was near (it was issued on Dec. 22 and we blogged about it the next day) and we wanted to remind everyone that this rate case is the same one we’ve been talking about all year.

Excerpt: One of the most confusing things I’ve encountered working in the utility industry is rate making. It’s a long, rather complicated process that is at times difficult to follow.  Sometimes it seems that every mention of a rate case, such as in public hearings, filed testimony before the commissions, mailed brochures and media articles – all sound like separate rate increases. Yet, each event is all a part of the public, transparent rate-making process; one that you’ve been able to participate in all year long. Continue reading this post.

4. Why in the world is Avista blogging? June 1
This is the first blog post we ever put up. It explained why Avista was diving into social media and invited you to participate with us.

Excerpt: We hope that the blog will be a place where you can come and learn more about Avista, our actions and vision for today and the future. But it’s not all about us. We wouldn’t exist without you, and we know it. This blog will feature your stories, questions and opinions. And yes, you can disagree with us – that’s OK. Continue reading this post.

5. Giving is a proud Avista traditionDec. 22
Watch video
This was a great post to wrap up the year in giving by Communications Manger, Jessie Wuerst (on twitter: @AvistaCares). Avista and its employees give to the communities we serve all year round, but holiday giving is especially impactful.

Excerpt: I’m proud to work at a company that has a deeply rooted belief in giving back to the communities we serve. I’m proud of the company that encourages and supports employee volunteerism in the communities where we live. I’m proud of the extra effort our company takes to make sure that the Christmas Bureau gets $10,000 and Fresh Start, a warming center in Coeur d’Alene, gets $5,000 to help the homeless and mentally ill when the frigid temps start to descend upon us. I’m proud of the support we give each year to education and economic development and those most vulnerable among us. Continue reading this post.

The rest of the Top 10
6. Clark Fork Hydro Project marks major milestones, Sept. 10 

7. All dialed-in to meter reading, July 27

8. Answering your questions: Gas prices and the wholesale market, Sept. 3

9. Answering questions: Smart Grid and peak loads, Nov. 12

10. The smart grid for 5-year-olds, Aug. 24
Thanks for a great first year at the Avista Blog.
Posted by  System Account  on  12/30/2009
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