Pacific Power program gives businesses, conservation a boost

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A Pacific Power program for business customers has been a bright spot for savings.

More than 300 Washington businesses saved enough electricity last year to power about 1,000 homes through an incentive program that paid them to do it.

The energy company said businesses in Yakima and Walla Walla received more than $1.3 million in incentives from Pacific Power’s FinAnswer — pronounced “financer” — Express program. The program exists to help eligible customers upgrade to energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems, premium efficiency motors and more. It includes technical expertise and a streamlined application process, Pacific Power said.

“Business customers can quickly put FinAnswer Express to work for them,” said Bill Clemens, Pacific Power regional community manger, in a prepared statement. “You start with a phone call or an email request and soon you can be saving energy and money—and have brighter lighting to work by as well.”

A Yakima company was used as an example to illustrate the benefits. Picatti Brothers Inc. has serviced wells and pumps, performed electrical contracting, repaired electrical equipment, and supplied electrical tools and materials since 1928. But the company needed some work of its own to improve lighting at the machine shop where more than 50 employees are based. The business turned to the FinAnswer program to replace the 1970s-era T12 fluorescents with magnetic ballasts and metal halide lighting. In their place now are premium T8 fluorescents with electronic ballasts and passive infrared sensors to shut off lighting when no one is working. The improvements are saving 11,470 kilowatt hours in electricity for a total of about $880 in energy costs a year.

“We are a family-owned business and are very prudent with our investments. We look to get a quick return on what we spend and Pacific Power’s program helped us with that,” said Douglas Picatti, vice president of business development, in a release. “We now have a better work environment for our employees and customers, and are getting continued savings on our energy costs.”

Lighting upgrades are a key part of the FinAnswer program, but there is more. Businesses can receive incentives to improve heating and cooling systems, industrial, food processing or office equipment. For details, visit: pacificpower.net/wasave .

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