Bellevue, WA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — April 3, 2008 – With climate change issues of increasing concern and wholesale energy costs on the rise, 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. These programs, part of the utility’s strategy to meet increasing energy demands in the growing Puget Sound region and protect the environment, will displace 53.3 average megawatts (aMW) of generation and 5.3 million therms of natural gas over the next two years.
"Our plan for meeting growing energy demands begins with aggressive energy efficiency programs," said Cal Shirley, vice president of Energy Efficiency Services for PSE. "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, 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 initiatives 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. In-home electricity monitors will be available to view energy consumption in real time, helping customers track kilowatt hours used and dollars spent on their energy use throughout the day. The second allows select customers to 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 about 222 aMW – enough to serve the electricity needs of nearly 170,000 homes. The cost is covered by a small, usage-based charge on the monthly bills of all PSE customers.