Northwest NEWS

March 12, 2001


City examines energy use

WOODINVILLE - The western United States is experiencing serious energy supply and price problems. The situation is very complex. It involves factors such as low water supplies in reservoirs behind dams, increased competition for natural gas supplies and failure of California's attempt to deregulate the generation and distribution of electricity. A lack of significant rainfall and snow pack this spring may stretch our alreadylimited power resources.
   In response to this crisis, the City of Woodinville has completed an in-house audit of energy use and has set a goal of reducing energy use by 10 percent.The City primarily uses energy for heating, cooling, lighting, and office equipment.
   Some of the fastest and easiest ways to save energy typically cost little or nothing. Business and homeowners can follow the same simple, low-cost steps adopted by the City of Woodinville:
   Turn off lights, computers, and other office equipment when they are not in use. Have a procedure to ensure equipment and lights are switched off overnight and on weekends. Install reminder labels by light switches.
   Lower the heater thermostat to the lowest comfortable setting during the day and set the temperature further back at night and on weekends when the building is unoccupied.
   Let the sunshine warm your office or house during the colder months by opening the drapes or blinds. Close them at night to retain heat.
   Turn off outside safety and security lighting at the start of each day.
   Keep doors and windows closed to prevent heat loss during the winter months.
   Remove unneeded light bulbs or use lower wattage bulbs.
   Replace incandescent light bulbs with screw-in energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs as appropriate.
   Adjust outdoor lighting timer controls to accommodate daylight savings time changes, or install photocells to adjust automatically to changes in the season.
   Understanding how much energy you use in your home or business is the first step toward making smart energy-saving decisions.
   Keeping up on routine maintenance, troubling shooting problem areas and installing more efficient equipment can reduce energy consumption. Any energy saved now will be available for use later in the year when water for hydroelectric power may be in short supply.
   For more information on how you can reduce your energy usage at home or at work call Puget Sound Energy at 1-800-562-1482 or visit their web site at