They’ve caught the energy-saving bug in Stanwood. Sixteen local businesses, in two teams of eight, just completed the PUD’s five-month Energy Challenge to see which team could save the most energy. In a neck-and-neck contest that came down to the final days of June, the C-Hawks team edged out the Watt Watchers by cutting overall energy use by 11.4 percent. The second place team achieved nearly the same savings at 11.1 percent. The PUD recognized all the participants during an awards ceremony at the Stanwood City Council meeting on July 10.
“The main goal of the competition was to learn how much small businesses can save through employee actions and low-cost equipment changes,” said PUD Utility Analyst Laura McCrae. “We built some fun into the competition and engaged the local community so they’d also learn more about eliminating energy waste in their homes and businesses.”
As part of the Energy Challenge, businesses were equipped with real-time energy dashboards to track electricity usage, both at their individual work sites and as a team. On-site signage also helped educate customers and raise community awareness.
The “Hare” Award, for the biggest early saver, was given to Northwest Veterinary Clinic, which cut use by 20 percent in the first month. The “Tortoise” Award, for the biggest late saver, was presented to Designs Northwest, which saved 38 percent in the final month. The “Most Valuable Saver” award went to Windermere, due to the staff’s impressive efforts to troubleshoot energy issues with lighting and thermostats.
“Every penny counts – anything from the doors being sealed, to your lighting, to your neon signs,” said Jose Amador, owner of Amigo Mexican Restaurant. “There’s so many ways to save money that if you’re not looking at it, it’ll literally take away your profits.”
The Stanwood Energy Challenge, a behavior based energy efficiency pilot program, was funded in part by the Bonneville Power Administration.
“BPA appreciates Snohomish PUD, the City of Stanwood and most importantly the businesses for participating in the Stanwood Energy Challenge,” said Richard Genécé, vice president of Energy Efficiency for the Bonneville Power Administration. “Competitions like this help us better understand how to measure behavior-based energy efficiency and show us there’s plenty of energy savings waiting to be had through behavior change in the Northwest.”
Snohomish PUD selected PECI (www.peci.org) to provide pilot design and implementation. Lucid (www.luciddesigngroup.com), through its Building Dashboard software platform, provided businesses detailed insight into their real-time electricity usage and tracked the teams’ success during the competition. The City of Stanwood, the Stanwood Chamber of Commerce and the Stanwood Area Merchants Association also offered ongoing support to engage local businesses and the greater community.
The two competing teams were comprised of eight businesses each:
|Watt Watchers Team
- Crowley Dental
- Designs Northwest
- Dos Reales Taqueria
- Northwest Veterinary Clinic
- Stanwood Hardware
- State Farm Insurance
- The Chatterbox
- Windermere Real Estate
- Ace Hardware of Stanwood
- Amigo Family Mexican Restaurant
- Coastal Community Bank
- John L Scott Real Estate
- Pelletier + Schaar
- RE/MAX Associate Brokers
- Thomas & Associates Insurance
- Tony Hewlett Family Dentistry
To learn more about the community competition, visit www.StanwoodChallenge.com. The website includes energy-saving resources, as well as testimonials and videos featuring many of the participating businesses.