Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1

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Customer Service (M-F 8a-5:30p): 425-783-1000

Latest Buzz

Visit SnoPUD for all the latest information about what’s going on at the utility, and see what we’ve been up to.

Here you will find press releases, special reports, our customer newsletter ("Currently"), our customer magazine ("Current") and updates during major storms.

Press Releases

(Current News)

  • PUD Readies for Seasonal Storms & Potential Power Outages
    10/10/2017

    We’re Prepared & We Want You to Be Prepared

    Snohomish County PUD is ready, regardless of what the weather brings to the region in the coming months. Ahead of seasonal storms, the utility takes steps to be well-prepared and respond quickly to minimize any disruptions to its customers.

    PUD PRE-STORM READINESS

    The utility’s storm preparations include the following key steps:

    • Monitoring weather systems so all available personnel so they are ready to respond
    • Securing contractors, when needed, to assist the PUD’s workforce
    • Setting up potential mutual aid crews from other regional utilities
    • Checking the PUD system, including critical transmission & distribution equipment
    • Ensuring full stocks of critical materials, fuel and other supplies
    • Coordinating with county emergency management personnel on regional response

    CUSTOMER EMERGENCY KITS - A simple emergency kit can help customers be safe and more comfortable during power outages. Pack a kit with the following items: flashlights, batteries, matches, drinking water, food bars/prepared food, blankets, manual can opener, battery-powered clock and radio and first aid supplies. For kids, have books and games on hand for family fun.

    WHO TO CALL - If you see a fallen power line, or a tree in a line, call the PUD at 425-783-1001. If it’s a life-threatening situation or medical emergency, call 911. During major storms, the PUD assigns additional staff to its Customer Service Center to handle customer questions.

    STAYING INFORMED - Listen to local radio newscasts for the latest information about PUD storm response efforts. The utility shares information with KIRO-FM (97.3), KOMO-AM/FM (1000/97.7), KSER-FM (90.7), and KRKO-AM (1380). During major storms, look for posts on the PUD’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

    STAY AWAY FROM POWER LINES – Stay far away from any fallen power lines, including lines that are sagging or broken. Also, don’t cut up fallen trees that are entangled with power lines. The safe thing to do is assume that all power lines are alive and can be a killer if touched.

    SPECIAL MEDICAL NEEDS - Customers using special medical equipment at home, such as respirators, should consider purchasing a back-up generator and/or have other contingency plans in place. They may want to make arrangements with friends, relatives or a local agency to transport them to an area where electricity is available. While the PUD strives to provide continuous electric service to customers, it cannot guarantee that occasional power outages won’t occur. During the winter months, the likelihood of power outages increases with storms.

    TURN SWITCHES OFF – Try to remember what was turned on at the time the power went out and turn the switches to those items to the off position. It’s especially important to turn off anything that has a heating element, such as the electric range, an iron, or a toaster oven. Turning items off will prevent a fire when the power is restored and also help the PUD restore power faster.

    UNPLUG ELECTRONICS – Unplug all electronic equipment, such as TVs, the microwave oven, computers, stereos, and the garage door opener. The process of restoring power could cause voltage fluctuations that might damage sensitive electronics.

    USE A PORTABLE GENERATOR SAFELY – Never plug a portable generator into your household wiring unless your home is equipped with a transfer switch that was installed by a licensed electrician. Your generator could be damaged or, much worse, it could back feed electricity through the meter and out into the neighborhood, where it would cause a severe safety hazard to neighbors and line workers. If you need to power an appliance with a generator, plug it directly to the generator.

    BE SAFE IN YOUR HOME – Always use extreme caution if you use candles or oil lamps. Never leave them unattended and keep them away from furniture, drapes, and other flammable materials. Also, make sure you have enough ventilation if you use a kerosene heater, a camp stove for cooking, or a portable generator.

    PROTECT FOOD – Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. The contents should be good for at least 24 hours if the door is kept closed. After that, use dry ice for the protection of food.

    BE COMFORTABLE – Choose a small room with few windows as your emergency living quarters. Keep the windows, drapes, and doors closed. Also, dress warmly. Wear several layers of clothes and don’t forget to wear a hat.

  • Dept. of Commerce: $7 million in state Clean Energy Fund grants advance microgrid projects at Avista, SnoPUD
    5/10/2017

    Innovative utilities investing in highly flexible, resilient, efficient electricity grid for the future

    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE PRESS RELEASE

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Department of Commerce has finalized grants totaling $7 million with two Washington state utilities to further their innovative work on electricity “microgrid” projects. Spokane-based private utility Avista, and the Snohomish County Public Utility District (SnoPUD), each were awarded $3.5 million from the Washington Clean Energy Fund.

    Their projects, and several others making their way through the grant contract process, represent the next important phase in modernizing our nation’s electric system to meet demand for more efficient, resilient and flexible power management and delivery. Industry experts, engineers and investors are watching closely Washington’s Clean Energy Fund research and development projects. These real-world implementations of some of the first significant new concepts and technologies in a generation will illuminate potential uses, service models and economic benefits for people and communities all over the world.

    “Washington is a state of leaders who share a vision of sustainable growth and prosperity inherent in the low-carbon economy,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “I applaud our utilities and their partners for investing in these innovative projects that will secure our energy future.”

    Creating a “shared energy economy”

    >Avista (NYSE: AVA) will pilot a “Shared Energy Economy” model that allows various energy assets -- from solar panels and battery storage to traditional utility assets -- to be shared and used for multiple purposes, including system efficiency and grid resiliency. By doing this, benefits to both the consumer and utility can be demonstrated. 

    One aspect of the Avista project includes exploring energy sharing among buildings. For example, rooftop solar panels and battery storage units would be installed on two buildings. These buildings could be connected to a building energy management system that could automatically sense which building needs power and which building has sufficient power to share its solar or stored battery power. Since Avista can also tap into this system, the addition of shared assets allows the utility to better use the existing resources. Ultimately, the consumer and utility both benefit in this Shared Energy Economy model.

    “Creating a ‘Shared Energy Economy’ model is the latest example of Avista’s 128-year history of innovation. In a ‘sharing economy’ resources are shared, allowing customers to access goods without ownership. For example, if you rent a Zipcar, you can pay to use a car when you need it, instead of owning a personal car. We are excited to explore this concept as it relates to energy,” said Heather Rosentrater, Avista vice president of energy delivery. “We know that the energy landscape will continue to change, and as a utility, we need to ensure our system will be flexible enough to meet the changing expectations and future needs of consumers.”

    Testing small-scale renewables and disaster response

    SnoPUD will build a Microgrid and Clean Energy Technology Center in Arlington. The facility, currently in the design phase, will demonstrate how evolving energy technologies – including energy storage, a microgrid system, small-scale renewable energy and an electric vehicle-to-grid system – can work together to improve grid resiliency, disaster recovery and renewable energy integration. It also will include a technology center to educate industry and the community about these technologies.

    “Beyond the considerable value this facility provides for research of clean energy technologies, we will also test its viability to serve as a critical backup system for PUD operations in the event of a major disaster,” said SnoPUD CEO and General Manager Craig Collar. “We commend the state for supporting innovation in the energy sector and positioning our region as a leader.”

    The utility has already installed the largest flow battery system in North America, using batteries and energy storage solutions developed by Washington researchers and companies with support from prior Clean Energy Fund programs.

    “Our state’s investments in clean energy are helping strengthen communities all across the state,” Commerce Director Brian Bonlender said. ”As our strengths in information technology and cloud computing converge in new energy systems and operations, technologies developed and deployed in Washington are positioned to sell into global markets, creating new jobs and business opportunities here.”

    Since 2013, the Washington State Clean Energy fund has invested over $72 million and leveraged another $128.7 million in matching funds from industry partners. Washington state’s numerous clean technology researchers, companies, investors and public and private utilities are at the forefront of energy innovation in the United States. Learn more at www.commerce.wa.gov/energy.

    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Contact:
    Penny Thomas, Commerce Communications, 206-256-6106

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