Puget Sound Energy is launching new energy efficiency offerings and increased incentives to help customers conserve electricity and natural gas and save on their energy bills.
“Conservation is the right thing to do for the environment and costs less than building new power plants or buying energy on today’s wholesale market,” said Cal Shirley, vice president of Energy Efficiency Services for PSE. “Helping to preserve our robust region and save our customers money.”
The new energy efficiency programs expand on PSE’s existing rebates and conservation services, and offer several new programs in 2008 and 2009.
New residential customer programs include PSE’s home
energy analysis program scheduled for late summer 2008. The program will have PSE Energy Advisors, upon request, examine customer homes and perform diagnostic testing to determine areas of energy loss and provide recommendations for increased energy efficiency.
In addition, PSE will launch two pilot programs.
One will offer in-home electricity monitors to view energy consumption in real time. That will help customers track kilowatt hours used and dollars spent on their energy use throughout the day.
The other where select customers will receive home energy reports describing energy use averages and how they compare to homes of similar age and size in their neighborhoods.
Business customers also will benefit from several increases in incentives for energy efficient projects.
Commercial and industrial energy efficient retrofits, as well as small business lighting retrofit projects, now qualify for up to 70 percent funding, up from last year’s 50 percent. New construction projects now qualify for incentives up to 100 percent of the cost difference between complying with current codes and building to highly energy efficient standards.
Since 1979, PSE programs have reduced customers’ ongoing power usage by enough to serve the electricity needs of nearly 170,000 homes. PSE’s current plans would save enough energy over the next 20 years to supply electricity to all the residences in Seattle, Bellevue, Bellingham, and Olympia combined and negate the need for building two additional midsized, 250-MW power plants.
The steady rise in energy demand within PSE’s 11-county service area can’t be met entirely by energy efficiency, Shirley noted, “but every megawatt-hour of electricity we save through cost-effective conservation is power we don’t have to acquire – at even higher costs to our customers.”
The cost of PSE’s energy efficiency program is covered by a usage-based charge on the monthly bills of all PSE customers.
Effective April 1, a typical household electricity bill (based on 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity) would increase 1.46 percent, or $1.34 a month. A typical natural gas bill (based on 68 therms), would increase 0.11 percent, or $0.09 a month.
PSE customers can obtain energy-efficiency information and assistance from PSE by visiting PSE.com, or by calling a PSE Energy Advisor at 1-800-562-1482.