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Subject:   Seattle City Light to Double Conservation Savings
For Immediate Release:   
8/20/2008  10:08:00 AM
For More Information Contact:
Scott Thomsen  (206) 386-4233

Seattle City Light To Double Conservation Savings
5-Year Conservation Action Plan
to save energy equivalent of a new dam


SEATTLE - Mayor Greg Nickels launched a major energy savings program today that will double Seattle City Light's current energy conservation program during the next five years. The $185 million investment in dozens of efficiency programs will save customers more than $310 million in their residential and business bills over five years and create more than 1,000 green jobs.

Seattle City Light To Double Conservation Savings"Conservation is best strategy to meet our energy needs," said Nickels. "We will not build a new power plant to fuel our city. Instead, we will reduce our power consumption using innovation, efficiency, and inspiration. Our goals are straightforward: maintain a healthy economy, reduce climate pollution and create new, green jobs."

"When we think about where that power is going to come from, we are looking to conservation as our first energy resource of choice," said Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Energy & Technology Committee. "Energy conservation is cost effective, reduces energy bills, and promotes environmental sustainability. Since conservation efforts began 30 years ago, customers have saved more than half a billion dollars, with an estimated $63 million in projected savings for 2008."

Customer energy demands for Seattle City Light are expected to increase more than one percent annually. As Seattle City Light meets this need, Initiative 937 requires that electric utilities with more than 25,000 customers ensure that 15 percent of their power comes from new, renewable energy sources by 2020. More than wind, land-fill gas, or geothermal, Seattle City Light will meet its needs through conservation, which complies with Initiative 937.

The Five-Year Conservation Action goes beyond the requirements of Initiative 937, providing for 1 million tons of avoided carbon dioxide emissions - equal to the emissions produced by 219,000 cars for a year. And, it's estimated that the new residential and commercial conservation programs could result in more than 1,000 local green jobs such as auditors and heating and cooling technicians.

"This is our power resource of the future," said Jorge Carrasco, superintendent of Seattle City Light. "It may seem odd to tell people we don't want you to buy our product, but in this case, it's true. We are confident that our customers are ready to join the Mayor in meeting these conservation goals."

For residential customers, increased emphasis will be placed on lighting options, as well as energy efficient appliances. New programs include:
  • Retail Outlets. This would provide discounts for qualified energy efficient electronic equipment to be sold through retail outlets, similar to the current compact fluorescent light bulb program.
  • In Home Monitors. A pilot program that is testing three styles of equipment to monitor home energy use and the cost of that energy in real time. The equipment is intended to increase awareness by customers so they can adapt their behaviors and reduce their energy use.
  • Home Audits/Home Use Support. City Light will pilot a program to communicate regularly with customers about their energy consumption, how it compares to similarly situated customers in their neighborhood, and opportunities to reduce their energy consumption. It will also explore options for in-person energy audits. An online tool is also available for a do-it-yourself audit.
  • LEED for New Homes. Incentives to cut the cost of new home construction when following guidelines such as those from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System standards.
  • Mixed Use New Construction. Incentives for energy efficient technologies built into new construction of mixed use buildings
  • Green Home Financing. Still in the conceptual phase, this will explore options for financing energy efficiency upgrades and customer renewables for single-family homes.

Some of the programs being added to City Light's existing conservation efforts for commercial and industrial customers include increased savings on lighting, cooling and heating systems, industrial processes, and utilizing a "whole building" energy use assessment for new construction. Conservation specialists will target mid-sized customers not currently enrolled in energy conservation incentives. In addition, as demand increases for large data centers, City Light will be working with companies to identify ways to reduce energy use. City Light also will work with trade organizations such as Building Owners and Managers Association and other organizations to reach out to their members.

For more information about Seattle City Light Conservation Services, go to: www.seattle.gov/light/conserve

Visit the mayor's web site at www.seattle.gov/mayor. Get the mayor's inside view on initiatives to promote transportation, public safety, economic opportunity and healthy communities by signing up for The Nickels Newsletter at www.seattle.gov/mayor/newsletter_signup.htm
 

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