Mercer Island Residents Get Green... One Hero at a Time
City to Receive $30,000 for Community Solar Project, Mercer Island Schools to Receive More Than $2,000 in Grants from Puget Sound Energy
BELLEVUE, Wash. (Jan. 15, 2013) – Residents and businesses of Mercer Island met the “Mercer Island Gets Green…One Hero at a Time” community challenge to increase enrollment in Puget Sound Energy’s Green Power Program to 750 residential and business participants in 2012. In recognition of meeting the goal, the city of Mercer Island will receive a $30,000 grant from PSE to fund a solar photovoltaic project at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center.
The solar array will provide power to the Community Center, teach students about clean renewable energy and remind visitors that Mercer Island Gets Green.
A celebration is being planned at 6 p.m., prior to Mercer Island City Council’s Jan. 22 meeting. Green Power customers are invited to join the party as PSE presents a check to the city and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognizes Mercer Island as a Green Power Community.
“The community support for this program has been terrific—55 percent more residents are Green Power customers today compared to a year ago,” said Mercer Island Mayor Bruce Bassett.
In 2012, PSE teamed with the city of Mercer Island, the Green Ribbon Commission and the Mercer Island School District to challenge local residents and businesses to become a Mercer Island Energy Hero and enroll in PSE’s Green Power Program.
As an added incentive to participate in the challenge, upon enrolling in the Green Power Program new members could designate their favorite school PTA or other select associations on the island to receive a $10 donation on their behalf. The association with the most designations at the end of the challenge would receive a $500 bonus for a green initiative of their choice.
Donations could be made to: Mercer Island High School, Crest Learning Center, Islander Middle School, Island Park Elementary School, Lakeridge Elementary School, West Mercer Elementary School, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Jewish Community Center or IslandVision.
Mercer Island High School received the most designations and will receive $960, including the $500 bonus. The remaining associations earned a combined $1,400 in funds for their organization.
“Through this partnership with the City and PSE, our schools have been able to raise money while supporting a greener environment. It has been a win-win for everyone,” said Mercer Island School District Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano.
Since the challenge started a total of 266 Mercer Island residents enrolled in PSE’s Green Power Program, bringing the total to exactly 750 customers in the city of Mercer Island. Signing up to purchase clean renewable energy means Mercer Island residents and businesses prevented more than 8.17 million pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere by purchasing more than 5.81 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power in 2012.
PSE’s voluntary Green Power Program gives PSE electric customers a way to guarantee that some or all of the energy they use is matched in the electric grid with clean electricity from wind, solar, biogas and other renewable energy sources from the West. None of the renewable energy in PSE’s Green Power Program is generated by PSE; it all comes from independent producers of renewable power.
With two participation options, PSE residential customers can purchase 100 percent green power for approximately $10 to $12 a month based on their actual usage or buy a specific amount, with a minimum purchase of $4 per month for 320 kWh. Additional green power can be bought in increments of $2 for 160 kWh. Business customers can also participate at rates specific to their situation.
For more information about Mercer Island Gets Green, or to sign up for PSE’s Green Power Program visit PSE.com/GreenPower or call a PSE Energy Advisor at 1-800-562-1482, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
About Puget Sound Energy
Washington state’s oldest local energy company, Puget Sound Energy serves 1.1 million electric customers and more than 750,000 natural gas customers in 11 counties. A subsidiary of Puget Energy, PSE meets the energy needs of its customers, in part, through cost-effective energy efficiency, procurement of sustainable energy resources, and far-sighted investment in energy-delivery infrastructure. PSE employees are dedicated to providing great customer service that is safe, dependable and efficient. For more information, visit www.PSE.com.
About the City of Mercer Island
Just over five miles long and two miles wide, Mercer Island is a true island community consisting of high quality residential areas, preserved parks and open space, as well as miles of developed shoreline. Incorporated in July 1960, the Island has its own sense of identity, distinct from its neighbors, Seattle and Bellevue. With a population of just over 22,000, Mercer Island has been widely recognized as one of the premier residential communities in the State of Washington. For more information, visit www.mercergov.org.
About the Green Ribbon Commission
The Mercer Island Green Ribbon Commission is developing innovative ways to educate the community to encourage sustainable behaviors that will result in reducing our individual and the community’s carbon footprint. Green Ribbon members include Mercer Island residents, city staff, city councilmembers, members of IslandVision, the faith community and other local organizations.
About the Mercer Island School District
The Mercer Island School District is located on Mercer Island, a six square mile suburban community of 22,000 residents in the middle of Lake Washington, within a 10 minute drive to Seattle and Bellevue. The school district is one of 35 King and Pierce County school districts affiliated with Puget Sound Educational Service District, a regional support educational agency. For more information, visit www.mercerislandschools.org.
MacKenzie McDowell, 1-888-831-7250