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Mercer Island meets green challenge, receives PSE grants
Residents and businesses of Mercer Island met the “Mercer Island Gets Green … One Hero at a Time” community challenge to increase enrollment in Puget Sound Energy’s Green Power Program to 750 residential and business participants in 2012.
In recognition of meeting the goal, the City of Mercer Island will receive a $30,000 grant from PSE to fund a solar photovoltaic project at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center.
The solar array will provide power to the Community Center and teach students about clean renewable energy.
A celebration is being planned at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 22, before the Mercer Island City Council’s meeting. Green Power customers are invited to join the party as PSE presents a check to the city and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognizes Mercer Island as a 'Green Power Community.'
“The community support for this program has been terrific — 55 percent more residents are Green Power customers today compared to a year ago,” said mayor Bruce Bassett.
In 2012, PSE teamed with the City of Mercer Island, the Green Ribbon Commission and the Mercer Island School District to challenge local residents and businesses to become a Mercer Island Energy Hero and enroll in PSE’s Green Power Program.
As an added incentive to participate in the challenge, upon enrolling in the Green Power Program, new members could designate their favorite school PTA or other select associations on the Island to receive a $10 donation on their behalf. The association with the most designations at the end of the challenge would receive a $500 bonus for a green initiative of their choice.
Donations could be made to: Mercer Island High School, Crest Learning Center, Islander Middle School, Island Park Elementary School, Lakeridge Elementary School, West Mercer Elementary School, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Jewish Community Center or IslandVision.
Mercer Island High School received the most designations and will receive $960, including the $500 bonus. The remaining associations earned a combined $1,400 in funds for their organization.
“Through this partnership with the city and PSE, our schools have been able to raise money while supporting a greener environment. It has been a win-win for everyone,” said Mercer Island School District Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano.
Since the challenge began, a total of 266 Mercer Island residents enrolled in PSE’s Green Power Program, bringing the total to exactly 750 customers in the city. Signing up to purchase clean renewable energy means Mercer Island residents and businesses prevented more than 8.17 million pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere by purchasing more than 5.81 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power in 2012.
PSE’s voluntary Green Power Program gives PSE electric customers a way to guarantee that some or all of the energy they use is matched in the electric grid with clean electricity from wind, solar, biogas and other renewable energy sources from the West. None of the renewable energy in PSE’s Green Power Program is generated by PSE; it all comes from independent producers of renewable power.
With two participation options, PSE residential customers can purchase 100 percent green power for approximately $10 to $12 a month based on their actual usage or buy a specific amount, with a minimum purchase of $4 per month for 320 kWh. Additional green power can be bought in increments of $2 for 160 kWh. Business customers can also participate at rates specific to their situation.
For more information about Mercer Island Gets Green, or to sign up for PSE’s Green Power Program, visit PSE.com/GreenPower or call a PSE energy advisor at 1-800-562-1482.