City of Bainbridge Island Challenges its Residents and Businesses to Become the Greenest Town in the Puget Sound

“Take Charge Green Power Challenge” Could Earn City up to $40,000 for Community Solar Project From Puget Sound Energy

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(April 19, 2013) – Puget Sound Energy and the city of Bainbridge Island are teaming up to challenge local residents and businesses to become the greenest town in the Puget Sound through the “Take Charge Green Power Challenge.” If 125 PSE electric customers on Bainbridge Island enroll in PSE’s Green Power Program in 2013, the energy company will provide the city with a $20,000 grant to fund a community solar photovoltaic project.

The Take Charge Green Power Challenge is a combined effort between PSE, the cities of Bainbridge Island, Snoqualmie, Tumwater, Anacortes and Kirkland, as well as local community organizations, businesses and residents. The aim is to increase the development of electricity generated from renewable energy sources in the region.

“The Take Charge Green Power Challenge offers a great chance for the city to help support the conversation about renewable energy in our region,” said Bainbridge Island Mayor Steve Bonkowski. “If we can meet our challenge goal of adding 125 Bainbridge households to the program, the city will use the $20,000 grant from PSE to jump start our next municipal solar project. After completing last year’s project to put solar panels on the roof of City Hall, we’re excited to think about options to add solar infrastructure at other facilities.”

Sustainable Bainbridge has taken the lead as a community partner in Bainbridge Island’s Take Charge Green Power Challenge. PSE electric customers can learn more about the challenge and sign up for PSE’s Green Power Program at two Sustainable Bainbridge events this weekend:  a special Earth Day Green Drinks at the Bainbridge Island Library, April 19, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and the Sustainable Bainbridge booth at the Earth Day Fair at Town & Country Market, April 20, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We think the Take Charge Green Power Challenge is a wonderful way to benefit our community and support the expansion of small-scale renewable energy sources,” said Els Heyne, Sustainable Bainbridge board member.

Currently, 1,125 PSE customers on Bainbridge Island participate in the Green Power Program. When the challenge goal of reaching 1,250 participating customers is achieved, PSE will provide $20,000 toward a community solar project on Bainbridge Island. Each participating city that meets its individual challenge goal will be awarded a $20,000 grant to go toward a community solar project in their city. Each city will determine where its project will be located and how it will be implemented.

The city with the highest percentage increase in new Green Power Program participants compared to other cities will be dubbed the “Greenest Town in the Puget Sound” and awarded an additional $20,000 to go towards their city’s solar project.

In addition to helping their city earn a solar project, customers who enroll in PSE’s Green Power Program from February 21 through September 30 will be automatically entered to win a solar panel system valued at $10,000 for their own home. Existing Green Power customers can enter for a chance to win by upgrading to 100 percent participation. Customers who already participate at 100 percent will be automatically entered to win.

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 kilowatt hours (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 the Take Charge Green Power Challenge, or to sign up for PSE’s Green Power Program visit PSE.com/GPChallenge 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 utility, Puget Sound Energy serves 1.1 million electric customers and more than 760,000 natural gas customers in 10 counties. 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, or follow PSE on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contact

MacKenzie McDowell, 1-888-831-7250
PSENewsroom@pse.com