US utility recognised for innovative energy efficiency service 6 DECEMBER 2016

US utility Tacoma Power was recognised by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) for its energy efficiency project.

The utility company was awarded NEEA’s Leadership in Energy Efficiency Award for Innovation.

The energy efficiency award recognises efforts by Tacoma Power in using its video chat technology to improve customer engagement and communicating with them on its energy conservation programme.

Through the video chat service, the Washington state-based utility is able to register consumers in its energy efficiency programme as well as inspect their homes to check if they qualify to receive energy efficiency rebates.

According to Tacoma Power, the video chat service “reduces the amount of inspection time for customers, eliminates travel time for utility employees, and is more convenient for contractors.”

The service reduces the utility’s operational costs incurred from using motor vehicles to check consumer homes door to door.

Tacoma Power serves 172,000 electricity customers and is a member of NEEA comprising of 140 utilities and energy efficiency organisations helping a total of 13 million energy consumers to reduce their energy usage and costs.

Energy efficiency deployment

In related news, ACEEE has rated energy efficiency as the 3rd largest power sector resource in the US. The state of Massachusetts is reported to be leading other US states in energy efficiency adoption.

Other US states like Kansas continue with efforts to improve their investments in energy efficiency to ensure the reliability of their grid networks.

In mid-November, the city of Lawrence in Kansas state announced that it will implement a $11.4 million energy efficiency programme to reduce its energy usage and costs.

The energy efficiency programme includes 40 clean energy and energy efficiency projects to be implemented in partnership with 360 Energy Engineers.

The projects follow the city’s efforts toward reducing its carbon footprint as well as ensuring Kansas state achieves a stable grid, by signing to the state’s Facilities Conservation Improvement Programme (FCIP).

The FCIP helps government institutions identify measures on how they can reduce their energy usage and bills through multiple measures including the adoption of clean energy and smart grid technologies. Through the FCIP programme, the city of Lawrence identified energy efficiency potentials in 40 of its buildings and facilities.

The city will use the $11.4 million to install LED lights, streetlights and their control systems to save up to $130,000 in energy bills per annum.

In addition to installing LED lights, the city will also upgrade its HVAC systems by installing web-based thermostats. The internet-controlled thermostats will cost $60,000 to install.

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