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Employee Spotlight March 02, 2022

Meet Hillary Olson, PUD conservation expert

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Meet Hillary Olson, PUD conservation expert

For 13 years, Hillary Olson, PUD Senior Customer & Energy Services Program Manager, has helped PUD customers save energy and money working in the PUD’s Energy Services workgroup. She now works on a variety of efforts to promote conservation, including leading the PUD’s FlexEnergy pilots. Hillary will present low-cost and easy conservation tips at our April Power Talks virtual presentation on Thursday, April 7, at noon. To register, click here.

When did you begin working at the PUD and what positions have you held?

I started in 2009 as a one of our Energy Efficiency Program Consultants performing home inspections and heat loss calculations. From there I moved to Assistant Program Manager supporting a variety of energy efficiency efforts, including work with our Trade Allies and the solar program, and then transitioned to an Associate Program Manager working on variety of appliance and fixture related retail programs.

Later, I moved to a Program Manager and took over our full retail conservation program, including residential lighting and appliance rebates, managed summer interns and oversaw conservation-related events, contracts and product procurement work for our retail vendor, TechniArt, and PUD LED giveaways.

That led me to where I am today, which is Senior Program Manager working on a variety of efforts. My three primary efforts include: working in tandem with a core team to develop the PUD’s demand response (DR) strategy, including FlexEnergy pilot implementation, supporting the PUD’s Electrification Plan, and helping to lead the PUD’s Customer Experience (CX) Journey to 800.

How have you helped promote energy efficiency to customers in your role?

Honestly, I’m not really sure where to begin! My entire career at the PUD, and even prior to coming to the PUD, has revolved around advocating for energy efficiency. Whether that was meeting with customers at their houses to do heat loss calculations and solar assessments or expanding our retail program to include the majority of eligible retailers in Snohomish County, energy efficiency has always been at the core.

Looking back, I think some of the most impactful work was done through community engagement at home shows and summer festivals, and the work I did with the PUD’s Communications & Marketing team to develop the “Look for the Logo” point-of-sale signage at retail stores to help customers easily identify the more efficient option.

How do you make your own home more energy efficient?

Most recently, we have been participating in the PUD’s FlexPeak pilot, which has been a good opportunity to talk with our kids about the impact energy efficiency and smart technologies can have when applied to a bigger scale. Other things we do at home to help maximize our efficiency include using a variable speed heat pump for heating and cooling, using our smart thermostat to maintain heat at 68 in the winter and 76 in the summer, purchasing Energy Star appliances, a tankless water heater, LED lighting, lighting sensors for outdoor lights, advanced power strips and smart plugs.