In addition to bringing higher utility bills, winter storms can be disruptive for businesses. Because of La Niña, that weather phenomenon that brings more precipitation and colder temperatures, this winter may be more challenging than usual. To help citizens and businesses prepare, Puget Sound Energy has joined forces with other regional organizations to help protect people and property. Check out www.takewinterbystorm.org for preparation and safety tips, and be sure that your organization is fully engaged in planning and preparedness. Take a few steps now and make a big difference in your business operations this winter.
PCC Natural Market Proves it is Easy Being Green
PCC Natural Markets has proven over the last five years that protecting our valuable energy resources can be as simple as partnering with your local utility. Since 2005, the natural food retail co-op has participated in PSE's Green Power program, which supports independent renewable energy projects including wind, solar and biomass - located right here in the Pacific Northwest.
In September 2005, PCC began purchasing green power for its Issaquah and Kirkland locations and added the Redmond store when it opened in 2006. PCC currently purchases 40 percent of the annual electricity consumption for their Eastside stores as green power.
A month later, the co-op joined forces with PSE to promote the Green Power program to Eastside PSE residential electric customers. Seattle City Light also participated, promoting their Green Up program to its residential customers. The campaign, which ran through January 31, 2006, included a direct mail postcard, PCC Sound Consumer Newspaper ads, KMTT radio ads and web promotional outreach. In addition, tables with promotional material were set up at the Issaquah PCC store and at Issaquah Salmon Days. PSE residential electric customers who signed up for the utility's Green Power program at a minimum of $4 per month during the promotion received a $10 PCC gift card and organic cotton tote - furthering community sustainability efforts. The campaign was a success, bringing in 496 new sign-ups. This was just the beginning of a natural partnership between PCC and PSE.
As part of their commitment to Green Power, PCC participated in the program's coupon book promotion in November, 2005. The coupon book is mailed annually to Green Power residential customers and provides discounts at businesses also participating in the Green Power program.
PCC partnered with PSE and SCL again in 2009 to promote the utilities' green power programs with a direct mail piece, proving once again that it truly is easy being green.
Click here for more information on PSE's Green Power program.
PSE Supports Energy-Efficiency Efforts of Local Charity
World Vision has been fighting global poverty for
60 years. Over the past 10 years, PSE has contributed $66,286 in energy-efficiency grants to the Federal Way charity - saving them money on their energy bills so they can focus on their child sponsorship programs and continue changing lives.
PSE's relationship with World Vision started in 1995 with a $10,445 energy-efficiency grant for an HVAC upgrade in one of the charity's two buildings, resulting in a savings of approximately 128,000 kWh/yr. Then in 2006, PSE began providing additional grants totaling $55,841 for a series of energy-efficient lighting upgrades for World Vision's two buildings and an adjacent parking lot. Total savings for all lighting projects was 263,000 kWh per year.
Although the energy savings from these various projects is significant, the successful business relationship PSE and World Vision have developed is what is most impactful. PSE gets to contribute to a charity that is changing lives, and World Vision gets to help in the effort to save energy. Now, that's a win-win partnership!
PSE Helps Businesses Stay Warm with Natural Gas Rebates
As we head into winter and temperatures start to drop, energy consumption begins to rise - leading to higher utility bills for businesses. Appliances continue working at full capacity to keep businesses running, and the heat gets cranked to ensure employees and customers are comfortable. Fortunately, PSE has natural gas energy-efficiency rebates that can help business owners reduce their buildings' energy use and lower their utility bills.
If your business is in PSE's natural gas service area, you can qualify for the following natural gas rebates, and start saving energy and money.
Click here for more information on PSE's commercial rebates.
Considering a Standby Generator for Your Business?PSE Can Help!
At PSE, we work hard to provide reliable electricity service for your business. Unfortunately, events beyond our control such as storms, flooding, vehicle accidents, vandalism and even wildlife activity can cause outages.
Loss of power can cost businesses substantial money. That's why many commercial customers approach PSE for assistance and information about standby generators. Determining the size and type of the standby generator you need can be very confusing. PSE's experienced staff is available to assist you as you determine which product will best suit your business needs.
During power interruptions, a properly-installed standby generator can safely power many or all of your business operations. If you utilize a standby generator, it is essential to do so in a safe and legal manner.
PSE's Contractor Referral Service can recommend a local pre-screened contractor to install your generator. Additionally, PSE's staff can assist you with information on planning, natural gas fuel needs, permitting and installing equipment.
For standby generator assistance, visit PSE.com or contact a PSE Energy Advisor who will help or direct you to additional staff who can assist you. They can be reached at 1-800-562-1482, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Proper Disposal and Cleanup of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Most business owners understand the benefits of replacing their buildings' incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs. CFLs use less energy while lasting longer than incandescent bulbs, helping to increase energy-efficiency and lower utility bills. However, what business owners may not know is how to recycle these energy-saving bulbs and what to do if one breaks.
Because CFLs contain a small amount of mercury, they need to be kept out of recycling and garbage bins. This ensures that they stay out of landfills where they can harm the environment. PSE, participating retailers and public facilities make it easy to properly recycle your business' burnt out bulbs at convenient locations throughout the region. Click here for a list of recycling locations near your business.
And if a CFL breaks in your building, here are some tips on cleanup:
Cleanup broken bulb
- Air out the room before cleanup
- For hard surfaces and carpet, carefully scoop up glass pieces and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a glass jar with metal lid (such as a canning jar) or in a sealed plastic bag.
- Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder.
- Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes. Place towels in the glass jar or plastic bag.
- If vacuuming is needed after all visible materials are removed, vacuum the area where the bulb was broken.
- Remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister), and put the bag or vacuum debris in a sealed plastic bag.
- Do not use a vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard surfaces.
- If clothing or bedding materials come in direct contact with broken glass or mercury-containing powder from inside the bulb that may stick to the fabric, the clothing or bedding should be thrown away. Do not wash such clothing or bedding because mercury fragments in the clothing may contaminate the machine and/or pollute sewage.
- You can, however, wash clothing or other materials that have been exposed to the mercury vapor from a broken CFL, such as the clothing you are wearing when you cleaned up the broken CFL, as long as that clothing has not come into direct contact with the materials from the broken bulb.
- If shoes come into direct contact with broken glass or mercury-containing powder from the bulb, wipe them off with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes. Place the towels or wipes in a glass jar or plastic bag for disposal.
Dispose of cleanup materials
- Immediately place all clean-up materials outdoors in a trash container or protected area for the next normal trash pickup.
- Wash your hands after disposing of the jars or plastic bags containing clean-up materials.
- Check with your local or state government about disposal requirements in your specific area. Some states do not allow such trash disposal. Instead, they require that broken and unbroken mercury-containing bulbs be taken to a local recycling center.
- Air out the room during and after vacuuming
Click here for more detailed information on CFL cleanup and disposal from the Environmental Protection Agency.
|Winterize Your Business and Lower Your Utility Bills!
Helpful Tips to Save Energy During the Winter Months
October is Energy Awareness Month, so what better time to think about preparing your business for winter weather.
Here are ten tips that can help keep your utility bills down while keeping you and your customers comfortable:
1. Turn off lights in unoccupied storage rooms, restrooms and meeting rooms. Install motion detectors to do the job for you.
2. Replace incandescent bulbs with ENERGY STAR® qualified CFL bulbs.
3. Turn off overhead lights where natural light shines in.
4. Purchase ENERGY STAR qualified computers, monitors, printers, fax machines and copiers and ensure they are properly programmed to "power down" after a period of inactivity.
5. Install smart power strips to prevent mobile phone chargers, laptop adapters, and other office appliances from drawing power when not in use.
6. Use laptop computers and ink-jet printers, if appropriate. They consume less energy than desktop computers and laser printers.
7. Install a programmable thermostat and properly set it to 68 degrees during work hours and to shut off when the building is unoccupied.
8. Install window treatments, shade screens or interior window film where possible.
9. Hire a professional to perform scheduled maintenance on heating units and check duct and pipe insulation for damage.
10. Make sure air vents are unobstructed. Anything that impedes the flow of air can reduce comfort as well as system performance.
Upcoming PSE Speaking Engagement
Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce Luncheon
PSE's Andy Wappler will speak to Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce members about energy-efficiency opportunities with PSE.
Date: Nov. 17, 2010
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location: Wing Point Golf & Country Club, 811 Cherry Ave., Bainbridge Island
We hope that this issue has provided you with some ideas and resources to improve energy efficiency at your business. Let us know if you have ideas for future articles. Please look for our next issue in January 2011.
Thanks for using energy wisely,
Your energy specialists at Puget Sound Energy