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Archive for November, 2010

The Warm Home Fund
November 23, 2010 · Written by Brock Dunda · Filed under General

Icicles on a homeThe first snow of the season has come and gone. It’s cold and will be getting colder. There are many families who will need help this winter staying warm. That is why Puget Sound Energy has a partnership with The Salvation Army to help provide qualified low-income families with heat and natural gas this winter. Puget Sound Energy’s customers, employees, and the corporate giving program contributed over $700,000 to the Warm Home Fund last year, providing assistance to nearly 4,000 families. Contact your local Salvation Army unit for more information.

In addition to the Warm Home Fund, Puget Sound Energy’s HELP Program provides additional bill-payment assistance to qualified PSE customers. Eligible customers can receive up to $1,000 per year in credits to lower their electricity or natural gas bills. Depending on the county in which you live, the maximum household income for eligibility ranges between 125 percent and 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. HELP assistance is offered year-round to eligible customers.

For more information, please visit Puget Sound Energy’s website.

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Preparing For a Blustery Winter
November 18, 2010 · Written by Brock Dunda · Filed under Helpful Tips

Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day!It’s that time of year again. The winds are picking up, storms are brewing, and it’s getting colder. We’ve all been told it’s going to be a La Nina year, meaning wetter, and colder than normal years. Sitting next to a window and watching the clouds race by makes you marvel at how amazing nature is.

Since it is that time of year, it seemed only appropriate to reflect on the season, and things you can do to prepare for the inevitable blusteryness.

Clogged Storm Drains

The wind and the cold makes the leaves fall, and the leaves plug up drains like toy army soldiers plug toddlers’ noses. To reduce or prevent erosion and flooding in your neighborhood, make sure that storm drains are kept clear so that the rain water has a place to go during our classic Seattle winter rain storms.

Wind and Rain

As our rain storms come rolling in, so will the high winds. The ground, saturated with water from heavy rain can often cause instability for trees. As the high winds thrash the trees, some may lose their footing and fall. Check trees around your property and if you see one that already looks like the Leaning Tower of Piza, that may be something you’ll need to address.

Wear warm clothing, use umbrellas, and have some nice warm socks. Use ’em and wear ’em, you’ll be glad you did.

Be Prepared for Power Outages

The chance of us not losing power at some point this winter is about the same as the chances of winning a game of hopscotch with one peg leg (if you happen to be one of these people I don’t mean to offend you). It’s likely that we’ll lose power, so be prepared with extra food stuffs like crackers, canned foods, peanut butter and other non-perishable items that can be used in an emergency. Have a small stock of bottled water that you can have on hand in an emergency as well.

Have candles and flashlights ready and stock up on batteries. For those that have lived in the Seattle area long enough, you can recall some of the storms we’ve had. If/when it snows, be prepared with extra blankets and warm clothing as well.

If you keep all these things in mind, hopefully you’ll have a happy blustery winter. If you don’t prepare, Winnie-the-Pooh will knock on your door at some point and say, “Told you so.”

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Conservation And Efficiency for Fall And Winter
November 18, 2010 · Written by Brock Dunda · Filed under Helpful Tips

Caulking WindowEfficiency for Fall and Winter

Save money and stay warm through the winter months:

  • Check the condition of caulking. Any breaks in the seal can let in cold air or water. Look for air and water leaks around windows, doors, and anything else that goes through walls, such as pipes and vents. Ensure that door and weather stripping is in good shape. You may also want to consider installing a storm door (tax credits may be available). For complete air-sealing guidelines you can visit www.energystar.gov.
  • Make sure that bathroom and kitchen fans are installed and vented properly to avoid and minimize moisture buildup.
  • Assess home insulation and add more if needed.

 Get Rebates!

Appliances

  • New-appliance rebates from the state include $75 for Energy Star dishwashers, and $250 for energy Star heat pump water heaters. Rebates for qualifying clothes washers have increased to $150. This means you’ll get back $250 back when you combine the state’s rebate with the City Lights Wash-Wise rebate: www.seattle.gov/light/conserve/resident/appliances.

 In-room heat pumps

  • Ductless heat pumps are more efficient than baseboard heaters or wall fans. For a limited time, Seattle City Light offers a $1,200 rebate when a ductless heat pump is installed. You may also be eligible for a $750 rebate from the state and may qualify for federal tax credits.

 Tax rebates

  • The IRS offers tax rebates on home improvements such as windows, insulation, duct sealing, heat pumps, furnaces and furnace fans, and heat pump water heaters when placed in service before Dec. 31, 2010: www.energysavers.gov/financial.

 For more information about any of the Seattle City Light’s conservation and renewable power programs for residential and business customers, visit www.seattle.gov/light/conserve or call 206-684-3800.

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The West Seattle Farmers Market
November 1, 2010 · Written by Brock Dunda · Filed under General, Local Events

Farmers MarketThe West Seattle Farmers Market is one of the most wonderful aspects of West Seattle. Besides incredible views of the city and the water, West Seattle offers the renowned farmers market. 

What Is The West Seattle Farmers Market?

Operating since 1999, the West Seattle Farmers Market features farmers and small food processors from all over Washington. The popular market is now a home for countless enthusiastic shoppers who revel in the freshness, variety, and value available from local farms. Fresh fruit from all over the state is available including berries, cherries, peaches, nectarines, apples, and melons. Along with the fruit, local organic produce is also available. Ranging from all kinds of seasonal vegetables, fresh farm cheeses, herbs, mushrooms, and fresh free-range chicken eggs. The West Seattle Farmers market has everything a shopper could want. There’s also pastured organic beef and delectable honey, preserves, and fresh baked bread and pastries.

The market includes not only food, but also live music, children’s activities, and other events throughout the season. Gardening and composting information booths are also available at the market each week during the summer.

When: Every Sunday, 10am to 2pm year-round.

Where: At the junction of 44th Avenue SW & SW Alaska St., Seattle, WA 98116

Parking: There is free street parking in the area surrounding the market.

For more information please see the official West Seattle Farmers Market web page as well as a list of vendors and products.

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