Two employees who created Tacoma Power’s video chat inspection program earned this year’s Leadership in Energy Efficiency Award for Innovation from the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA). Sara Bowles and Jordan Whiteley, who work in Conservation Resources Management for Tacoma Power, picked up the award yesterday.
“It’s an honor to receive recognition from NEAA, a regional leader in energy efficiency,” said Tacoma Power Superintendent Chris Robinson. “We encourage innovative thinking, so it feels great to be recognized for it.”
For a customer to receive a rebate for certain energy efficiency improvements, utility employees must first inspect the work at the customer’s home. Bowles and Whiteley developed a video chat inspection program that allows them to conduct their portion of the work from their office. The change reduces the amount of inspection time for customers, eliminates travel time for utility employees, and is more convenient for contractors.
“We have technology that can make our work more efficient and create less of a burden on customers, so it makes sense to use it,” Robinson said.
Tacoma Power received the inaugural award in the same category from NEEA last year for a ductless heat pump study in partnership with Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity.
“We are fortunate to have such experienced leadership that brings innovation and collaboration to our alliance. Their dedication makes a huge contribution to energy efficiency in the Northwest,” said Susan E. Stratton, NEEA’s executive director. “As we celebrate 20 years of working as an alliance, these are exactly the types of leaders who will move our region forward.”
About Tacoma Power
Tacoma Power serves 172,000 customers in Tacoma, University Place, Fircrest and portions of Fife, Lakewood, Federal Way, Steilacoom, Joint Base Lewis-McChord and other portions of Pierce County. The utility includes seven divisions: Generation, Transmission and Distribution, Power Management, Click! Network, Utility Technology Services, Reliability & Compliance, and Rates, Planning & Analysis. www.tacomapower.com.
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance is an alliance of more than 140 utilities and energy efficiency organizations working on behalf of more than 13 million energy consumers.
Since 1997, NEEA and its partners have saved enough energy to power more than 900,000 homes each year. As the second-largest resource in the Northwest, energy efficiency can offset most of our new demand for energy, saving money and keeping the Northwest a healthy and vibrant place to live. www.neea.org