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Subject:   Seattle City Light Takes 'Next Step' in Residential Energy Savings
For Immediate Release:   
3/18/2010  11:15:00 AM
For More Information Contact:
Scott Thomsen  (206) 386-4233

Seattle City Light offers many incentives for residents to conserve energy and cut their electricity bills. Until now those programs – including the popular “Twist and Save” discounts on compact fluorescent light bulbs – have depended upon homeowners to install the energy efficient upgrades.

But a pilot program in South Seattle announced by City Light today will cross the threshold of customer homes to install hundreds of thousands of free compact fluorescent light bulbs for thousands of seniors, low-income residents and non-English speaking households.

“By taking this next step into people’s homes, we hope to make it as easy as possible for them to cut their energy consumption and their electricity bills,” City Light Conservation Resources Director Bob Balzar said.

Installations will be done by people recruited and trained from the target communities and participants in the AmeriCorps program.

All installers will display identification. Installers will have to pass a criminal background check and drug screening. To the extent possible all hires will be bilingual, speaking one of our target languages in addition to English. They will receive job training to succeed in this project and place them on a path towards other jobs in the energy-efficiency field.

By reaching out to customers directly, with installers and notifiers who are bilingual, City Light hopes to increase participation and better explain energy saving options.

Starting Friday, March 19, outreach for the program will take place in two ways to learn whether one produces better participation.

In some neighborhoods, flyers will advertise the program and residents will have the opportunity to schedule an appointment with an installer. In other areas, notification teams will go door-to-door to let residents know about upcoming installation opportunities. About a week later, installation teams will go door-to-door offering to install free compact fluorescent light bulbs throughout the homes and a smoke detector. Participants also will receive a water-saving showerhead and faucet aerators they can install themselves.

Installations will be provided in the Seattle portions of ZIP codes 98126, 98106, 98134, 98108, 98144, 98118, 98178.

The project is being paid for with $500,000 of federal stimulus package money and about $1.2 million from City Light. The utility estimates the energy savings will amount to about 2.5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year for every 5,000 homes served. Smoke detectors are being provided by the Washington State Department of Health under a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

City Light hopes to install 300,000 bulbs in 20,000 homes by the end of 2010. If the pilot is successful, the program might be expanded to other neighborhoods.

Seattle City Light is the ninth largest public electric utility in the United States. It has the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to nearly 1 million Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.
 

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