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Oct 05 , 2011
Scott Morris at the WSU Spokane Biomedical and Health Sciences Building groundbreaking.
Post/photo by Dan Kolbet
Avista CEO Scott Morris speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the WSU Spokane Biomedical and Health Sciences Building in Spokane’s University District. Morris was the co-chair of the Academic Health Science Center Steering Committee. Morris has said previously that such a project “in Spokane would be a catalyst for creating new and sustained growth for the entire region. The Spokane business community strongly supports this initiative and is ready to collaborate to make it happen.”
Published: 10/5/2011  4:15 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Aug 09 , 2011
Home owners and contractors are reminded to call 811 at least two days before digging

Post by Dan Kolbet
Gas crew fixing a broken line.
I bet these guys called before they dug. Learn from them!
#Call811 - that's it.
This week would really, really be the wrong week to dig into an underground utility line. OK, any day is bad, but this week would be exceptionally bad. Thursday is Aug. 11 – or 8/11. Sounds a bit like “811,” right? And of course you know you can call 811 for free two days before you plan to dig to locate underground utilities. Play it safe and call before you dig. It’s the law.

To help get the word out, Avista is partnering with local Home Depot stores on Thursday, Aug. 11, to raise awareness for 811, the one-call number for locating underground utilities. It’s the perfect day to remind homeowners and contractors to call 811 at least two days before digging. All are welcome to join Avista at Home Depot stores in Spokane, Spokane Valley and Phoenix, Ore.

Avista employees will be staffing booths where customers can learn more about the free 811 service and why it’s important to call before you dig. Customers can also enter to win a $25 Avista Housewarming Gift Certificate or other promotional items.

Striking underground utilities is dangerous and can be costly. In 2010 Avista’s underground natural gas and electric lines were hit by third-parties 480 times. Calling 811 at least two working days before excavating or digging begins allows sufficient time for a professional to mark the location of any buried wires, cables or natural gas pipes.

Event Information

Who:  Avista Utilities & Home Depot

What: 811 Call Before You Dig Awareness Events

Where:  Home Depot Stores
North Spokane  
9116 N. Newport Hwy
10-2 p.m.
Spokane Valley
5617 E. Sprague Ave.
10-2 p.m. 
Phoenix, Ore.
3345 N Phoenix Rd.
10-4 p.m.
Published: 8/9/2011  9:01 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Jun 22 , 2011
2nd slideshow
Post & Photos by Dan Kolbet

This morning I stopped by an Avista job site just east of Division in downtown Spokane. Our crews were replacing a section of power line between First and Second avenues at Cowley Street. In order to keep the neighboring homes and businesses with power while the replacement project occurred, they were safely working around live (or hot) power lines.

Our crews attached extenders on the top of the utility poles and moved the live/hot lines to the outer edges. Then they use rope to pull new, higher gauge power lines where the old lines used to sit. At either end of the work are massive spools that release the new wire or collect the rope. They will repeat this process until the entire length of the power line, usually many miles, is replaced.

We often use the term “upgrades,” when we talk about this type of project. Since we’re replacing an old line with a new one, a simple replacement really is an “upgrade” too. If you’re going to replace something, you might as well plan for future needs so you don’t have to come back and upgrade the line again in just a few years.

This small example shows how Avista is ensuring our electric grid has the capacity to meet your needs, when you need it. This is your rate dollars at work.

Check out the slideshow above for more 14 images of Avista crews working for you.
Published: 6/22/2011  3:16 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Nov 08 , 2010
Powering Our Future Slideshow
Post by Dan Kolbet
Click on the slideshow above to view images from Powering Our Future: Choices, Opportunities and Costs. These 23 photos capture much of the interaction and discussion during the event.
The interactive energy event was held in late October in Spokane Valley, drawing more than 200 attendees from Washington and Idaho. As part of our ongoing effort to engage customers and communities, we talked about forces at play in the energy industry, renewable energy, the role of energy efficiency, and more.
If you'd like to see captions with the images, click here.
Published: 11/8/2010  12:01 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Nov 03 , 2010
Post by Dan Kolbet

Last Thursday Avista held its first Powering our Future event, bringing together hundreds of Avista customers and regional stakeholders to discuss the future energy.
I was lucky enough to be able to attend the event and hear from national speakers and some of Avista’s subject matter experts. You can check out a live stream of tweets from the event here: @Avistautilities, just scroll back to Thursday.
We're working on video highlights and photos of the day, and will share those as soon as they are available.

If you’re looking for a full recap now, look no further than Jan Fletcher’s article at Spokane Business Women, “Over 200 attend Avista’s ‘Powering Our Future’ conference.” Fletcher goes in depth in a full rundown of the day, noting interesting comments from speakers and attendees. She even produced two videos, interviewing attendees.
Published: 11/3/2010  8:33 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Nov 02 , 2010
Avista's Energy Fair 2010
Avista's Energy Fair is scheduled for Saturday Nov. 6,
from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Spokane Community
College (SCC) Lair Student Center (Building 6), 1810
North Greene Street.
Post by Jessie Wuerst

What are you doing this Saturday? Fun, food, and oh, yes, some valuable information are the bills of fare at the Avista Energy Fair is scheduled for Saturday Nov. 6, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Spokane Community College (SCC) Lair Student Center (Building 6), 1810 North Greene Street. This is a great time of year to think about keeping your home warm and safe this winter.
The event will be filled with demonstrations and workshops on low cost, no cost energy efficiency tips to and provide information about billing assistance. In addition, community organizations, including Community Colleges of Spokane, WorkSource Spokane, Goodwill, Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery, SNAP and others, will be on hand to answer questions about employment assistance, weatherization, housing, childcare and other topics. A full list of exhibitors is available here:

And the best part is – it’s all FREE! Admission to the event includes access to all demonstrations and workshops, free samples of materials, complimentary food and beverages, and door prizes.

We are pleased once again to partner with Community Colleges of Spokane on the Energy Fair. The event provides a great way for customers to conveniently access Avista’s many services, as well as valuable community services. Information about payment options, energy assistance and energy efficiency will be especially helpful to those struggling to pay their bills. The fair will also benefit anyone who wants to learn how to better manage their energy costs.”

Fair attendees can speak with Avista staff and learn first-hand about low-cost and no-cost energy efficiency tips and tricks. They’ll see how to install such things as rope caulking, window plastic and door sweeps to help keep the warm air in their homes and the cold air out. And following each demonstration, free samples of each item will be distributed.

For the kids, and the kids at heart, Wattson, Avista’s Energy Watchdog, will guide attendees through fun, energy-focused crafts and presentations of his musical message of energy efficiency and safety.

Come on out and join us!
Published: 11/2/2010  4:01 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Oct 26 , 2010
The goal of Powering our Future: Energy Opportunities, Choices and Costs is to engage attendees in a discussion about Avista and the region’s energy future
Powering our Future
Post by Dan Kolbet
Over the last few weeks you may have heard about Avista’s energy event that happens this Thursday. It’s shaping up to be a great event, and I’m glad I’ll be in attendance.
This first-time event, called Powering our Future: Energy Opportunities, Choices and Costs, will bring community and business leaders, commercial and industrial customers, elected officials, and others together for an interactive afternoon with national energy speakers and Avista experts on topics concerning the future of energy, followed by a networking social.
There are still some seat available, click here to reserve a space. For those of you not able to come, we’ll recap discussion highlights, key findings, video clips, photos and more after the event. I’ll even be live-tweeting Thursday from the @AvistaUtilities twitter account. Watch for the hashtag #EnergyFuture.
The goal of “Powering Our Future” is to engage the public in a discussion about Avista and our region’s energy future. We’ll be highlighting important issues around using, delivering and securing energy that are shaping this future and hope to use this event as a launching point for future conversations and engagement.
Published: 10/26/2010  12:59 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Oct 05 , 2010
Power Down, Add Up
"Power Down, Add Up" is a month-long energy efficiency
competition between Gonzaga and Washington State University.

October is Energy Awareness Month, and Avista kicked it off by reaching out to some of its newest customers – college students.

Late last week on the steps of Gonzaga University’s Crosby Student Center, Avista hosted a kickoff event to promote a month-long energy savings contest between Gonzaga and Washington State University for its on-campus residents and Greek housing students.

Students were treated to a “powered down” performance from Gonzaga-based band, “The Danger Bears,” as well as an energy trivia showdown between Avista’s Energy Watchdog, Wattson and Gonzaga University’s mascot, Spike the Bulldog.

Avista’s Energy Solutions Engineer Tom Lienhard toured a dorm room with students and pointed out simple ways to save energy.

What’s the deal with Power Down, Add Up?
The contest, “Power Down, Add Up,” will promote energy efficiency by 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.

“We are excited to have local university students involved in energy saving activities for Energy Awareness Month,” said Chris Drake energy solutions program manager. “Saving energy can be very simple and every little bit adds up. While students may not be thinking about their energy bill yet, we hope they can build good habits that will help them save energy in the long run.”

College students can visit
 to learn about energy efficiency, check out a cool video and
find the powermongers that live among them.
Students will enter their activities in their online energy diaries at during October. Winners will be determined based on the most energy saved.

Students who rent can conserve too
Students living off-campus and who receive their own energy bill can learn about saving energy through the web where they can request energy awareness kits and through the Every Little Bit Facebook page become a fan of energy efficiency.

As emerging customers, college students play an important role in shaping our energy future. Their commitment to energy efficiency can create lifelong practices that decrease the demand for resources and increase efforts towards a sustainable future.

Extra Info
Read Gonzaga Bulletin reporter Stephen Paur’s article, “'Power Down, Add Up’ aims to reduce energy usage.”
Like Powermongers
Published: 10/5/2010  4:52 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Aug 12 , 2010
811 video, click to play
These guys always call before they dig.
Three of the fine gentlemen I met at Home Depot
who visited Avista's educational stations.
Post and video by Dan Kolbet

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.
Published: 8/12/2010  8:04 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Aug 06 , 2010
Avista and Home Depot remind home owners and contractors to call 811 at least 2 days before digging
Post by Laurine Jue

Avista is partnering with Home Depot to celebrate National 811 day (Tuesday, Aug. 11). All are welcome to join Avista and learn more about 811 at the Spokane Valley Home Depot (5617 East Sprague Avenue) from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Aug. 11, National 811 Day.

Avista employees will be staffing booths where customers can learn more about 811 and why it’s important to call before you dig. While learning more about 811, customers can pick up free giveaways, enter to win a drawing and more! Each visitor will receive an “811 passport” which can get stamped at each booth. Customers who visit two booths will receive a free 811 T-shirt. Customers who visit all three booths will be entered to win a grand prize drawing.

On Aug. 11 and throughout the year, Avista wants to make sure homeowners and contractors alike to call 811 at least 2 business days before digging to eliminate risk of striking an underground utility line.

Published: 8/6/2010  3:36 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

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