PUD reports record energy savings

EVERETT — Customers of the Snohomish County Public Utility District saved more energy in 2011 through conservation measures than ever before, according to the PUD’s calculations.

Customers saved an average of nearly 9.3 megawatts of electricity over the course of the year in 2011, enough to power about 7,000 homes at any one time. The previous record was set the year before, in 2010, when customers saved just under 9.2 megawatts, spokesman Neil Neroutsos said.

Collectively, private customers and businesses reduced their energy bills by more than $6 million.

Conservation measures included increased use of compact fluorescent light bulbs; getting rid of old refrigerators in favor of new, more energy-efficient models; and weatherization projects such as added insulation, new heat pumps and energy-efficient windows.

The PUD calculates the savings using a formula developed by a committee of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, a regional trade group.

With an old refrigerator, for example, “you know if you take that out of circulation you’re saving x-kilowatt hours a year,” Neroutsos said.

The PUD picks up old, working refrigerators at customers’ homes and gives them $30 toward the purchase of a new model. Old fridges and freezers can use up to three times the energy of newer models, according to the PUD.

More than 5,000 homes and 170 local businesses have participated in the PUD’s Community Power! program in the past two years, in which the utility worked with customers on energy-saving measures such as lighting upgrades, efficient windows and low-flow showerheads.

In a separate program, the PUD worked with business and government customers on 750 energy-saving projects last year. These included efficiency measures at Brightwater and other sewage plants, the new tower at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett and at several local school districts.

The PUD promotes conservation through its “Be a Conservation Sensation” campaign, which helps customers find ways to save energy. The PUD also offers an Energy Challenge, in which customers can pledge to reduce their energy use by 10 percent. To date, 4,600 customers have participated.

For more information about PUD conservation programs, call the PUD Energy Hotline at 425-783-1700 or go to www.snopud.com.

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; sheets@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Inclusion super important to Monroe High senior

Sarah Reeves worked to make homecoming more representative of the student population.

Man, 60, in critical condition after Bothell crash

Police believe the driver may have been speeding when he hit a rock wall.

FBI operation arrests 3 linked to exploitation of 32 women

The sting focused on Everett and other cities in Snohomish, King, Pierce, Skagit and Spokane counties.

Man arrested in Monroe Walmart robbery; second suspect flees

The pair fled in a stolen Mitsubishi Lancer with a distinctive green spray paint job.

Fugitive convict, missing more than a year, surrenders

Charles Coggins, 60, turned himself in Monday. He could now spend up to 30 days behind bars.

Former homeless camp needs needles and garbage cleaned up

The Hand Up Project will lead a volunteer effort this weekend on wooded land south of Everett.

County Council postpones vote on conservation programs

A decision on funding agricultural and water-quality programs will come after the budget process.

A Q&A with the candidates running for Snohomish County Council

Republican incumbent Sam Low faces Democratic challenger Kristin Kelly in District 5.

Front Porch

EVENTS Seahawks event postponed A Toys for Tots Blue Friday fundraiser that… Continue reading

Most Read