Olympia and Lacey Meet ‘Flip the Switch to Green Power’ Challenge

Cities of Olympia and Lacey Earn $30,000 in Community Solar Project Grants from Puget Sound Energy

OLYMPIA, Wash. (Feb. 15, 2012) – Residents and businesses of Olympia and Lacey met the “Flip the Switch to Green Power” challenge to increase enrollment in Puget Sound Energy’s Green Power Program by 505 residential and business participants in 2011. In recognition of meeting the goal, the cities of Olympia and Lacey are receiving a combined $30,000 in grants to fund solar photovoltaic projects.

PSE presented the Olympia City Council with a $20,000 check to fund a community solar project in Olympia at their Feb. 14 meeting.

“We are extremely pleased to have met the challenge to Flip the Switch to Green Power,” said Steve Hall, Olympia City Manager. “Olympia residents and businesses have always been leaders in environmental stewardship, and this is another great example. Thanks to the grant from PSE, we look forward to another solar power project being implemented in our community.”

PSE will present the Lacey City Council with a $10,000 check to fund a solar project in Lacey at their Feb. 23 meeting.

“The City of Lacey has been a 100 percent Green Power customer since 2007,” said Virgil Clarkson, mayor of Lacey. “I applaud our residents and businesses for their support of renewable energy­—a valuable investment in local clean energy projects and the future of South Puget Sound.”

Each city will determine project locations and implementations.

Since the challenge started, a total of 507 new customers enrolled in the Green Power Program, bringing the total to 4,833 customers in the cities of Olympia and Lacey, representing an increase of 12 percent over total participants as of January 1, 2011.

In 2011, PSE teamed with the cities of Olympia and Lacey, Intercity Transit, and Thurston Energy to challenge local residents and businesses to Flip the Switch to Green Power. Their aim was to increase the development of electricity generated from renewable energy sources in the region.

Special thanks to Intercity Transit for their partnership in the Flip the Switch to Green Power campaign, their participation in the Green Power Program and for encouraging other Olympia and Lacey based businesses and residents to do the same.

“PSE’s Green Power Program aligns well with Intercity Transit’s mission of supporting an accessible, sustainable, livable, healthy and prosperous community,” said Mike Harbour, Intercity Transit’s general manager. “We are very pleased our efforts helped fund solar power projects in our community.”

Vivala, a designer woman’s clothing boutique in downtown Olympia was an early supporter of Flip the Switch to Green Power, enrolling in February 2011. In addition to purchasing Green Power, Vivala also participates in Green Power Rewards, offering fellow Green Power Program participants who shop at Vivala a 10 percent discount off their entire purchase.

"At Vivala, I have always made an effort to operate in a sustainable fashion,” said Cheryl Selby, owner of Vivala. “I was happy to participate in Flip the Switch to Green Power; it was the perfect match of doing the right thing and managing my resources wisely."

More than 90 businesses in Olympia and Lacey currently participate in the Green Power Program, with 26 of them participating in Green Power Rewards, which offers residential Green Power Program customers a rewards card for ongoing discounts on products and services at local businesses that also participate in the Green Power Program. Thurston County businesses in Green Power Rewards include retail, dining, personal care, home and garden, legal services, and sporting goods stores in the Olympia, Lacey and Yelm area.

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. None of the renewable energy in PSE’s Green Power Program is generated by PSE; it all comes from other 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 Flip the Switch to Green Power, visit PSE.com/Flip. To sign up for PSE’s Green Power Program visit PSE’s Olympia Customer Service Office at 2711 Pacific Ave. SE, call a PSE Energy Advisor at 1-800-562-1482, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., or visit PSE.com/GreenPower. Additional information on Green Power Rewards can be found at PSE.com/GreenPowerRewards.

Photos of Green Power Program customers in Thurston County can be viewed at Flickr.com/PugetSoundEnergy.

About Puget Sound Energy

Washington state’s oldest local energy utility, Puget Sound Energy serves more than 1.1 million electric customers and 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.

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