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Dec 01 , 2011

Video Contest

If you have a creative high school student at your house, here’s an idea that can pay off in more ways than one – Avista’s third annual Every Little Bit video contest.

By creating and submitting a 30-second to two minute video about ways we can all limit our energy use, students attending high schools served by Avista could receive a $1,500 or $2,500 tech grant for their school. Plus, students could receive individual awards like an iPad 2, iPod Nano and iTunes gift card.

Videos must be uploaded to Avista’s website – – by Dec. 16. Visitors to the site can vote online for their favorite video until Jan. 13, 2012, when a panel of judges will select the video winners. Judging criteria will include energy efficiency message, originality of approach, creativity, design and style.

Participating in the video contest could have lasting benefits. We hope that by engaging youth in the importance of energy efficiency today, it will help them value saving energy even more when they become customers tomorrow.

Information about the Every Little Bit video contest is at or where you can also watch the 2010 winning videos.
Published: 12/1/2011  10:52 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Dec 01 , 2011
Post by Debbie Simock

Go to Facebook
If you’re an Avista customer who is renting your residence, you can receive a free energy efficiency kit to help make sure you aren’t being a powermonger, and all you need to do is “Like” us on our Every Little Bit Facebook page.

While supplies last, we’re giving away 1,000 Powermonger kits that include a power timer socket, switch and socket insulators, shower coach, shrink-fit window insulation film and other energy savings tools. If you’d like a free kit, go to Every Little Bit Facebook page and “Like” us. If you aren’t on Facebook, you can get a kit by sending an email to

The Powermonger kit is the newest addition to Avista’s suite of energy efficiency programs, all created to provide resources and incentives to help customers manage their energy use. That’s important because we’re using more electric devices to power our lives than ever before.

Next time you’re on Facebook, check out the Every Little Bit page and “Like” us.
Published: 12/1/2011  9:56 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Nov 30 , 2011
Housewarming Gift Certificate
If you’re looking for a unique gift for friends, family or your holiday exchange that will definitely be used, look no further than an Avista Housewarming Gift Certificate. Available in any amount and with no expiration date, a gift certificate can be applied to the recipient’s Avista account.

Purchasing a gift certificate is easy – just complete an order form and attach it to a check or money order made payable to Avista, then mail to:

P.O. Box 3727 MSC 34H
Spokane, WA  99220-3727

To redeem a gift certificate, the recipient simply includes the gift certificate with a bill payment stub and mails them to Avista. The gift certificate and bill payment stub can also be dropped in an official Avista payment drop box.

There are no administration or processing fees associated with the Housewarming Gift Certificates. Your total gift amount goes directly to your recipient. Please allow up to five business days for processing your order form.
Published: 11/30/2011  2:02 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Nov 29 , 2011
Powering Our Future Video
Post by Brandi Smith, Video by Dan Kolbet

Powering Our Future
The Powering Our Future event featured an interactive
game in resource planning. Participants worked in
small groups to build upon an existing resource mix
portfolio in order to meet the energy needs of their
customers over the next 20 years.
Powering Our Future
The purpose of the game was to educate our
customers about the complexities of the power
planning process and to help them understand how
Avista plans for our energy future while meeting
renewable portfolio standards in a cost-effective
Avista hosted another successful Powering Our Future event, the third in a series, on Thursday, Nov. 17 at CenterPlace in Spokane Valley. The evening was filled with thoughtful insight, conversation and even a game that put guests in the shoes of a power supply planner for a northwest utility company.  The event required reservations, but was open to the public and free to attend.

Dick Storro, Avista’s Vice-President of energy resources, kicked off the event before keynote speaker, Jim Yost, from the Northwest Power and Conservation Council spoke about the importance of balancing the environmental and energy needs of the Northwest. Bob Lafferty, Avista’s Director of Power Supply, teed up the rest of the evening with an engaging discussion about how Avista plans to meet customers’ needs reliably and responsibly while integrating renewable resources.

The evening then shifted gears with an interactive game in power planning. Participants worked in small groups to build upon an existing portfolio of resources in order to meet energy needs of customers over the next 20 years. They were able to choose from a mix of resources such as solar, wind, coal, nuclear power, natural gas, conservation, biomass and hydroelectric power.

Once the groups decided on their preferred resource strategy, they were able to see the impact of their decisions on a computer module. The module displayed how their choices impacted carbon emissions, energy costs, the ability to meet peak demand and whether or not their preferred mix satisfied Washington State renewable energy credits.

“The interactive element of the program helped our guests understand the complexities of the power planning process,” Lafferty said. “By giving them a game to play, they were able to see the cost and environmental tradeoffs of their decisions as well as whether their choices met peak demand.”

The event was capped off with a lively question and answer session followed by a social hour where attendees were given the opportunity to mingle with speakers and Avista employees. The purpose of the event was to educate customers about how Avista plans for the future of energy while also meeting renewable portfolio standards in a cost-effective way. 
Published: 11/29/2011  12:22 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Nov 22 , 2011
Tom's Turkey Drive donation
KREM-2's Tom Sherry, accepts a check from Avista employees and the Avista Foundation for
Tom's Turkey Drive. Presenting the check are Avista's Scott Morris and Dennis Vermillion.

Post by Laurine Jue
Tom Sherry
Tom Sherry
Many of us are planning a last-minute run to the grocery store to pick up a few remaining ingredients for your favorite stuffing or grandma’s pumpkin pie. Yet for many families in our region, a Thanksgiving feast is simply not in the budget.

During these difficult times, the generosity of Avista’s employees never ceases to amaze me. This month’s focus of their giving was KREM-2’s Tom’s Turkey Drive. In a few short days, employees donated $7,820 and the Avista Foundation matched the amount for a grand total of $15,640. It’s a new record for Avista employees who have supported Tom’s Turkey Drive for several years. We presented the check to KREM-2’s Tom Sherry last week. Thanks to Avista employees, 1,042 families will sit down to a turkey dinner this Thanksgiving.

While Thanksgiving traditionally marks the beginning of the season of giving, Avista’s employees contribute their time, talent and treasure all year long – in so many ways. In 2010, Avista employees donated more than 44,000 community volunteer hours to over 600 organizations in the three states we serve. Every year, we contribute financially to United Way, March of Dimes, Project Share and many others. They donate backpacks and school supplies to students in Spokane’s schools, thousands of pounds of food to the Women and Children’s Free Restaurant and clothes to My Sister’s Closet. The list of opportunities to “give back” goes on and on.

So as we give thanks this holiday, I’d like to say, “Thank you” to Avista’s employees, whose big hearts are making a difference for the people in the communities where we live, work and play.
Published: 11/22/2011  3:59 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Nov 21 , 2011
Trophy presentation
Students and check
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

Post by Dan Kolbet

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.
Published: 11/21/2011  10:43 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Nov 11 , 2011
Memorial slide show
Local Avista crews helped erect the flag pole, bring power to site
Post, audio and photos by Dan Kolbet
Over the past several years the Deer Park Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3067, with the assistance of Avista and several other groups has worked to build a memorial for Armed Forces personnel. The colorful new memorial, called the Veterans of Foreign Wars / Deer Park Memorial was unveiled today at Bluebird Park in Deer Park in front of a crowd of honored veterans, families and even young children with the day off from school.

Avista assisted the project by helping erect the flag pole and bringing overhead power to the location for lighting and other needs. Avista Utilities and Frank Binder, Deer Park District Manager, were thanked by Deer Park and VFW officials for their dedication to the project.

As today is Veterans Day, it’s certainly fitting to unveil this wonderful memorial.

On behalf of all Avista employees, we salute our United States Armed Forces. Thank you for your service.
Listen to VFW Commander Thomas Tradewell’s speech at the memorial dedication. A bugle-player performs Taps, as the audio ends. (The audio begins just a few sentences into Commander Tradewell's speech).
Audio player
Published: 11/11/2011  4:15 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Nov 10 , 2011
Post by Brandi Smith
Powering Our Future activity
Participants will have the opportunity to participate in a
hands-on exercise in energy resource planning with
real-time feedback on the impact of their decisions.
Hydroelectric. Wind. Biomass. Natural gas. Coal. Conservation. What mix of power resources will best meet customers’ need for energy throughout each day, each year and into the future? Find out this and more at the next installment of Avista’s Powering Our Future event series that has been taking place since 2010.

At the event, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on exercise in energy resource planning with real-time feedback on how your decisions could impact customer costs, carbon emissions and Avista’s ability to meet customers’ need for reliable energy supply.

Avista planning experts will shed some light on the process of balancing energy resources with customer needs, cost, and federal and state mandates and regulations.

Don’t miss out on this one of a kind event scheduled for Thursday, November 17 from 4-7 p.m. with an optional social hour following the event from 7- 8 p.m.

There is no admission charge to attend, but seating is limited. If you would like to attend reservations can be made online at:

Published: 11/10/2011  4:01 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Nov 10 , 2011
Joe on camera - smile!
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.
For more information about energy efficiency, rebates and incentives, visit
Published: 11/10/2011  8:21 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Nov 08 , 2011
Noxon video
Video Interview by Brandi Smith
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.

Learn more about the project here.

UPDATE Febrary 2012: The new Unit 4 has been installed. Watch a video of the crew discussing the project.

Published: 11/8/2011  8:45 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

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