Eastsiders, expect your electric rates to increase unnecessarily if Puget Sound Energy’s “Energize Eastside” is approved. This proposed 18 mile, 230,000-volt transmission line running through neighborhoods from Renton to Redmond is not needed to meet increased energy usage as PSE has claimed. Energy consumption has fallen in Bellevue by 5.7 percent from 2011-2015 due to gains in energy efficiency and new smart technology. The trend is to reduce our reliance on the grid, using solar panels and co-generation of power, for example.
PSE also claims we need this costly project to increase reliability of energy at peak demands. Yet, there are cheaper and more environmentally friendly ways to increase reliability. For example, battery storage is now being used in Southern California to avoid rolling blackouts.
Yet, the project seems to move along. You have until July 6 to comment on the Environmental Impact Statement Phase 2 at energizeeastsideeis.org. You should ask City Council candidates if they will consider alternative methods to increase reliability or to meet any future needs for electricity. Our elected officials should be working to minimize costs to us— looking at the best alternatives for us and not for what is best for PSE and its Australian and Canadian owners.
Stopping “Energize Eastside” would save ratepayers a bundle, save close to 6,000 trees and allow us to adopt the newest and smartest technologies.