Pacific Power has filed plans with the Oregon Public Utility Commission to pay residential customers who reduce their use of electricity 20 percent over summer 2000 levels. The company filed similar programs in five Western states.
>Pacific Power has plans to reduce the bills paid by residential customers 20 percent as an incentive to have them reduce their consumtion of electricial power
The proposed 20/20 Customer Challenge provides Pacific Power customers an incentive to substantially reduce their use of electricity. Customers would receive a 20 percent credit on June, July, August and September bills for each month they reduce electricity use 20 percent or more.
Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber said the program is a proactive means of managing energy in what is going to be a tight summer supply. "We know that solving the energy problem is going to take some effort from everyone," Kitzhaber said. "Pacific Power's innovative program offers rewards for participation. It's a valuable program because it encourages preventive measures in terms of keeping cost down and power flowing."
The program will make energy available to meet other power needs and prevent the company from having to meet peak demand by purchasing on the volatile open market where prices are 10 to 20 times higher than last year. If five percent of the company's nearly 1.3 million residential customers in the West achieve the 20 percent reduction, the energy saved could power up to 55,000 homes during critical hours.
"This program is one more in the array we've developed to keep energy consumption down while the region is experiencing tight supplies." PacifiCorp Executive Vice President Judi Johansen said. "Our customer challenge provides rewards to customers who make real commitments. Customers who meet the challenge will save twice - first by using less energy and second because of the credit."
Other Pacific Power programs include an online Energy Exchange that offers industrial customers payment for going off line during times of highest demand and a program that offers to pay farmers to not use electricity during the irrigation season. And a popular free light bulb program has replaced nearly 450,000 bulbs with energy-saving ones in customer homes since late January. The programs, along with advertising and general awareness efforts, are part of the company's "Do the Bright Thing" campaign.
Pacific Power is offering advice on to help customers achieve the 20 percent reduction in use. Tips include:
Use the air dry function on dishwashers or turn off the dry cycle.
Minimize use of indoor and outdoor lighting.
Switch out incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent models that use one quarter the electricity.
Use only one TV at a time.
Keep all TVs, computers and lights off when not in use.
Keep refrigerator and freezer full for maximum efficiency.
Use the microwave or outdoor barbecue to cook instead of electric oven or range.
Use a clothesline to dry clothes or linens.
Unplug all unnecessary appliances.
For customers with air conditioners or heat pump:
Turn off air conditioner when not at home.
When home, set thermostat at 80 degrees or higher as comfort and safety allow.
Shade windows with curtains, drapes or screens when the sun is out.
Keep heat sources (stove, oven, laundry equipment, computer, TV, lights) off as much as possible while air conditioner is operating.
Leave windows closed during the day. Turn off air conditioner and open windows at night to let in breeze.
Use fans to circulate the air instead of an air conditioner whenever the outdoor temperature is below 90 degrees.
Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows.
Insulate the home.
For customers with electric water heaters:
Keep the water heater temperature at 120 degrees F.
Install a water heater blanket.
Insulate hot water pipes.
Wash clothes in cold water. Limit number of loads by making sure each load is full.
Take short showers instead of baths.
Make sure the dishwasher is completely full before running a load.
More tips are available online, visit www.pacificorp.com and check out Energy Advice and other information, including the Bright Ideas energy handbook, are available through Pacific Power's toll-free Energy Services Hotline at 1-800-222-4335.