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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Avista rate cut was cold comfort

The last few months have been a roller-coaster ride for most Avista customers, but watching our heating bills reach new heights has been anything but fun. Although Avista teased us by lowering the cost of natural gas recently, only a handful of us splurged with that extra $3 per month before being smacked by news that despite recent rate hikes, Avista made another request for even higher rates next year.

Boxer pushes energy measure

WASHINGTON – Sen. Barbara Boxer on Tuesday announced that the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee would draft a new climate bill that would help consumers avoid higher prices and create new jobs in clean energy. “We all understand the urgent need for action, and this is a great way to reinvigorate the economy,” Boxer said as she outlined the principles she wanted included in a bill to limit and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Gregoire outlines green-jobs plan

More than 47,000 Washington workers have “green jobs,” far more than estimated and twice the goal set by state officials for 2020. But Gov. Chris Gregoire said Thursday that Washington can go much farther, and used the findings to rally support for Green Jobs and Climate Action legislation that would dedicate $455 million to transportation and housing projects that would reduce energy use and foster clean-energy technologies.

The Importance of an Energy Audit

Even with soaring energy costs, home inspector Mark Cannella finds that many homeowners still don't understand the value of a home audit.

Heating, cooling systems going geothermal

When it’s very hot or cold outside, your house has to work hard to make that air the perfect temperature for indoors. But if it were 55 degrees year-round, heating and cooling would be a lot easier. And that happens to be the temperature of the ground, from about six or eight feet down to as far as you can dig – a fact exploited by geothermal heating and cooling systems. “It doesn’t matter how hot it is outside, or how cold it is outside,” said Ryk Lesser of Green Energy Design & General Store in Easton, Md.

Avista customers shocked by big bills

A lot of people got a shock in the mail over the past couple of days: a whopping power bill. January’s bills are typically among the year’s highest, and this year’s came loaded with the effects of four weeks of harsh winter, a longer-than-average billing period, and rate increases for Washington customers.

Avista reduces natural gas rates

Avista Utilities natural gas customers will see a 3 percent decline in their rates resulting from the recent drop in wholesale gas prices, state regulators announced Thursday. The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission approved the utility’s request to reduce natural-gas rates beginning today in response to wholesale gas costs falling since last summer.

Program would pay to replace gas hogs

WASHINGTON – Congress is mulling a proposal to pay people to get rid of those old gas guzzlers sitting in their driveways. Under legislation introduced Wednesday in both the House and Senate and called the “Cash for Clunkers” program, drivers could get vouchers of up to $4,500 when they turn in their old fuel-inefficient vehicles for scrap and buy vehicles that get good gas mileage.

Chu hearing forecasts new focus in energy policy

WASHINGTON – The Nobel Prize winner nominated to head the Energy Department said Tuesday that he would focus the agency in part on global warming, a sharp departure from the agency’s priorities during the Bush administration. “If we continue on our current path, we run the risk of dramatic, disruptive changes to our climate,” physicist Steven Chu told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee during his confirmation hearing.