Puget Sound Energy Low-Income Weatherization Funds to More Than Double Next Year Thanks to Enron Settlement Distribution from Washington State Attorney General’s Office
PSE Budgeted $2.5 Million in 2009 for Low-Income Weatherization Programs; More Than $2.1 Million from AG Will Supplement $3.25 Million Budgeted for 2010
Bellevue, WA, December 8, 2009 - Low-income weatherization funds for qualifying PSE customers will more than double next year as a result of the utility receiving more than $2.1 million from the 2005 Enron settlement reached with the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. These funds will be added to the $3.25 million budgeted in 2010 by PSE for the utility’s Low-Income Weatherization Program, which helps qualifying customers save money by upgrading their homes with insulation, duct sealing and weather stripping. In 2009, PSE budgeted $2.5 million for this program.
“We’re thrilled that PSE will be able use the funds from the Enron settlement to help more of our low-income customers weatherize their homes by making more significant repairs than we can generally offer,” said Cal Shirley, PSE vice president of Energy Efficiency Services. “The additional program funds will now enable us to make extensive repairs to mechanical ventilation, floors, roofs, and electrical wiring that are often necessary before installing weatherization items like insulation, duct sealing and weather stripping.”
Washington state settled with Enron in 2005 over its manipulation of the market during the energy crisis of 2000-2001, with restitution being made earlier this month. A total of $6 million is being distributed to Washington state utilities to reduce heating expenses for low-income households and support weatherization programs that improve heating efficiency.
PSE, Washington state’s oldest and largest local energy utility, received the largest percentage of the distribution based on the number of customers it serves: more than 1 million electric customers and nearly 750,000 natural gas customers.
Administered by 11 community service agencies, PSE’s Low-Income Weatherization program offers free home weatherization improvements to qualifying low-income customers who own or rent their homes, apartments, or mobile homes and heat with PSE natural gas or electricity. The improvements help save customers' money on their energy bills and make their homes or apartments more comfortable by eliminating drafts and uneven temperatures.
In 2008, PSE’s funding provided weatherization for 738 households, saving more than 1 million electric kilowatt hours and 20,188 natural gas therms. In addition to now enabling repairs to be made to homes before weatherizing, the funds will also increase the number of households served in 2010 by approximately 20 percent or an additional 200 homes. Household figures for PSE’s $2.5 million Low-Income Weatherization program in 2009 will not be calculated until early next year.
The following agencies administer PSE’s Low-Income Weatherization program for their respective counties:
- Island and Whatcom counties
- Opportunity Council
- Olympic Community Action Programs
- City of Seattle Office of Housing
- King County Housing Authority
- Kitsap Community Resources
- Community Action Council of Lewis, Mason, and Thurston counties
- Metropolitan Development Council (Tacoma residents)
- Pierce County Department of Community Services
- Housing Authority of Skagit County
- Snohomish County Human Services Department
Lewis and Thurston counties
For more information about PSE’s assistance programs and ways to lower home energy use, call a PSE Energy Advisor at 1-800-562-1482, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or visit www.PSE.com.
About Puget Sound Energy
Washington state’s oldest local energy utility, Puget Sound Energy serves more than 1 million electric customers and nearly 750,000 natural gas customers in 11 counties. A subsidiary of Puget Energy, PSE meets the energy needs of its growing customer base through incremental, cost-effective energy conservation, procurement of sustainable energy resources, and far-sighted investment in the energy-delivery infrastructure. PSE employees are dedicated to providing great customer service and delivering energy that is safe, reliable, reasonably priced, and environmentally responsible. For more information, visit www.PSE.com.
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