Seattle City Light is expanding an energy use tracking service that helped about 18,000 customers save $477,000 on their energy bills last year.
Every two months, participants receive a home electricity report from OPOWER that shows how their home energy use compares to similar homes in the same neighborhood and offers suggestions on how they can lower their electricity use.
On average, participants cut their energy use by up to 3.3 percent per month compared to a control group of customers who did not receive the reports. The average savings was $26.24 per participant per year. Home owners and renters saw similar savings.
“Our customers consistently demonstrate that they want to make sustainable energy choices,” City Light Conservation Resources Director Glenn Atwood said. “Home electricity reports are one more tool to help our customers reduce their energy consumption and save themselves some money in the process.”
City Light sent the reports to 20,000 customers in 2010. About 2,000 either moved or decided to opt out of the program.
Starting May 10, the program will expand to a total of 50,000 customers who will receive the reports. Customers have the option of paperless reports and can go online for additional tips or to make a pledge to cut their energy consumption.
Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to nearly 1 million Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.