SEATTLE -- Seattle City Light this week will celebrate the weatherization of the 1,000th building under the utility’s Multifamily Conservation Program.
A six-unit building in Ballard is the latest to receive energy-saving upgrades, with costs split 50-50 by building owners and City Light. The building, at 6201 11th Ave. N.W., boasts new double-pane windows from Armex Window Company and crawl space insulation from Comfort Zone.
The building owners, City Light staff and contractors will gather at the building tomorrow, Oct. 11, at 11:30 a.m. to mark the occasion.
City Light shares weatherization costs with owners of electrically heated multifamily-buildings. The program conserves electricity and reduces the amount of high-priced electricity City Light must buy when demand exceeds the supply of its hydroelectric dams.
City Light has been weatherizing electrically heated multifamily buildings with five or more units since 1986. From 1986 to 1999, the program saved more than 27,000 megawatt-hours, or enough energy to supply power to about 2,700 homes per year in the Seattle City Light service territory.
The utility estimates there are about 1,600 more electrically-heated multifamily buildings left to be weatherized, with enough potential energy savings to power an additional 4,300 homes per year.
“There are no losers with this program,” said Jorge Quiroga of Armex Windows, a company that has participated in the conservation program since it began. “Tenants are more comfortable and have lower energy bills, the city doesn’t have to buy more expensive power from dirty power plants, and small businesses like mine stay busy.”
Quiroga added that many of his customers would not have been able to weatherize without help from the city.
Steve Leathart of Comfort Zone said it’s hard to sell an intangible benefit that doesn’t accrue directly to the owner.
“But even in these good times, with low vacancy rates, the smart owners are reinvesting in their building to keep their tenants happy and buildings attractive to future tenants,” Leathart added.