Pacific Power coaches 'wattsmart' energy use

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Turn off lights; turn on the savings.

That's the message of an energy-saving program from Pacific Power. The utility company is offering an array of tips to help consumers be "wattsmart" during the peak season for energy use.

Pacific Power officials say little things such as turning off lights and electronics can lead to big savings on energy bills. The organization also encourages consumers to use Energy Star appliances and have their air conditioners serviced regularly. Other money-saving tips:

Set the thermostat as high as comfortable: 78 degrees when you're home; 87 degrees when you're away.

Tune up the air conditioner and clean or replace filters monthly.

Run major appliances at night; air-dry dishes; and use the microwave, toaster oven or barbecue instead of the oven.

Set the water heater to 120 degrees.

Keep blinds and windows closed during the day and open at night.

Use window, ceiling and house fans.

Wash clothes in cold water and clean dryer lint filters after every use.

Eliminate extra freezers or refrigerators, especially those outdoors or in a garage. They can be recycled for cash through some pickup programs.

Use power strips for home electronics in order to be able to turn everything off at once.

"We encourage Washington customers to save energy this summer" said Bill Clemens, Pacific Power's regional community manager in a prepared statement. "After all, the summer months are peak times for energy use. Following a few simple guidelines can save them energy and money. That's the essence of being wattsmart." For more information, visit bewattsmart.com .

Sleight of Hand Cellars recently broke ground on its new winery building at 1959 J.B. George Road.

Construction of the new facility and other updates were detailed in the Walla Walla winery's summer newsletter. Construction is expected to be complete before harvest, owners Trey Busch and Jerry and Sandy Solomon said. The winery recently relocated its tasting room to the southside spot. Wine for Sleight of Hand has been made at Saviah Cellars.

In addition to the construction, Sleight of Hand has a welcomed a new assistant winemaker. Keith Johnson, formerly of Saviah, joined the team July 1 and also serves as tasting room manager.

The Marc Restaurant is making Sunday family night.

The restaurant located inside the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center just launched its new three-course Chef's Family Meal last weekend.

Every Sunday will feature a different menu featuring the Southern comfort food of Executive Chef Antonio Campolio's roots. Raised in West Virginia, Campolio is bringing a home-cooked spin to the fine restaurant's fare.

The meals are all made fresh and served family-style at the table. The selection includes a choice of two salads, entr?©es and desserts. The price is $24.99 for adults; $8 for children 12 and under.

Reservations are recommended. Dinner is served 6-9 p.m. at The Marc. The last seating is 8:30 p.m. For more information, call 525-2200.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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