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|Avista Proposing Programs to Leverage Stimulus Funding for Customers|
SPOKANE, Wash., May 4, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Avista today announced its recommendations for leveraging $60 million in energy efficiency money for Washington as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the Stimulus bill. Roger Woodworth, Avista vice president for sustainable energy solutions, outlined the utility's recommendations in his presentation today at the Washington State Energy Summit in Seattle.
"Giving more customers the ability to make energy efficiency improvements to their homes and businesses is a powerful way stimulus funds can be used to benefit families and employers in Washington," Woodworth said.
Avista is proposing two programs to leverage a portion of the state's allocation of energy efficiency stimulus funding:
-- a revolving loan fund to help residential and commercial customers invest in efficiency; and -- a program to help large, private and municipal industrial facilities and campuses control energy costs.
Currently Avista is working with a consortium of Spokane-based banks and credit unions and others to create a revolving loan fund for residential and commercial customers that will make available low-interest loans for energy efficiency improvements. The stimulus funding could be used to expand lending to more people by providing partial loan guarantees, reducing interest rates and supplementing existing money-saving Avista rebates and Federal tax credit programs.
"Increasing the energy efficiency of homes and businesses has a long-term benefit for residents, our communities at large and the environment, and a revolving loan fund can help continue this kind of support for generations to come," Woodworth said.
Avista is also proposing that state stimulus funding be allocated to a program to create green-collar jobs in the state by hiring and training "energy resource champions" to work at public and private work sites to help improve energy management at those properties. In concept, Avista and other energy providers would guarantee the owner that the energy cost savings over the first three years would cover the fully-loaded employment costs of the energy champion.
"The stimulus funding is providing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make tremendous strides in reducing the amount of energy we - as individuals and businesses - use. If properly directed, the funding can give us the boost needed to do things in the energy world that have beyond our reach for decades," Woodworth said. "We stand ready to work with cities and towns and others to secure the energy efficiency benefits of the stimulus funding for families and businesses in our service area and across the region."
Avista's has continuously offered programs in support of energy efficiency for three decades. Information on the current energy efficiency rebates and incentives offered by Avista for residential, commercial and industrial customers is available at www.everylittlebit.com, along with other energy-saving information.
Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is our operating division that provides service to 355,000 electric and 315,000 natural gas customers in three Western states. Avista's primary, non-regulated subsidiary is Advantage IQ. Avista stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA." For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.com.
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