Customer Newsletter - May
A regular newsletter for Clark Public Utilities customers
Can you dig it? Call 811 to find out
Spring inspires all types of outdoor projects but before you do the digging, have your fingers do the dialing. Call 811 or 800-424-5555 at least two business days before digging. Each utility will visit the job site and mark their service lines with color-coded paint. The paint is water soluble so you should complete your digging within two weeks.
Otherwise you may discover the unfortunate hidden treasure of power lines, sewer pipes and water lines. Contacting underground lines can be dangerous or even fatal. Plus, you may disrupt your home's utilities or even service to the entire neighborhood.
The free 811 service marks underground utility lines so you can avoid accidentally digging into a line or pipe.
To show the areas to avoid, workers use color-coded water-soluble paint on lawns, sidewalks and driveways to mark utility, municipal, and company-owned lines. The paint wears away in about two weeks. Each utility will mark where its underground lines or pipes are, so you can dig safely.
The utility owns the service wire to a customer's electric meter, but typically service wires to outbuildings (shops, barns and well houses) are owned and maintained by the customer. It is the customer's responsibility to have these services located at their expense.
StreamTeam volunteers make Earth Day every day
More than 350 people came out to release hundreds of wild salmon, plant trees and pull non-native invasive plants along Salmon Creek on Earth Day. Hundreds more enjoyed the EcoFair with free children's activities and informational booths.
The utility's StreamTeam depends on community volunteers, and there's still a lot of work to do. If you're interested in joining the effort, visit our website or give us a call at 360-992-8585.
It's all part of our year-round effort to bring salmon back to Salmon Creek.
Sign up for Equal Pay in May!
Keep your utility bill even and predictable year round. Equal Pay is a great way to divide your yearly bill into equal payments. The Equal Pay monthly amount is based on your yearly consumption and any outstanding balance or credit, and then divided into 12 equal payments. Twice a year we'll review your account to make sure your usage is matching your payments. If usage and payments aren't in synch, we'll adjust accordingly. In any case, you only pay for what you use.
You can sign up online through MyAccount, or just call us. Our customer service representatives are available 24 hours a day. It's a convenient, hassle-free and secure way to pay your utility bill.
Play it safe outdoors: electrical safety tips
Spring is here, and we want to remind you to be safe, especially while working or playing outdoors near utility power equipment.
- Be aware of power lines. Always assume they are "live and dangerous."
- Never touch outdoor wires with any part of your body or other objects.
- Fly kites, model airplanes and toys in fields, parks or large open spaces - safely away from trees and power lines.
- Don't try to retrieve balloons, kites or other objects that are stuck on power lines or in other electrical equipment.
- Don't climb trees near power lines.
- Never attempt to rescue a family member, friend or pet that has come into contact with electrical equipment. Call 9-1-1 immediately.
- Keep electrical toys, appliances and tools at least 10 feet from pools, puddles or other wet surfaces.
- All outdoor outlets should have ground fault circuit interrupters that immediately turn off electricity to an appliance when it detects a "leak" in an electrical circuit. If necessary, purchase a portable GFCI to use with outdoor tools. You can find them for about $20 to $30.
- When using electrical equipment outdoors, use proper electrical cords designed for outdoor use. Keep them dry and do not operate electric tools around water.
- Remind children to never climb a utility pole or play on or around electrical equipment, or go into a substation for any reason. If a toy enters a substation, do not try to retrieve it. Call us for help and we'll be happy to retrieve it and help you play it safe.
Rebates loans and incentives available
We offer a variety of rebates, loans and incentives for customers making energy-efficient upgrades. Thinking about a new heating system, appliances or weatherization? Learn more about our available offers to help you cut energy waste at home. Check out our latest brochure online, or call us and we'll send you one.
Energy-efficient appliance rebates are available at participating Clark County retailers listed on our website.
- $50 rebate for qualifying Energy Star® clothes washers with an MEF (Modified Energy Factor) of 2.2 or higher
- $25 rebate for qualifying Energy Star® refrigerators or freezers
- Refrigerators and freezers - We'll haul away your old inefficient one from your driveway and give you a $30 credit for recycling it.
- Compact fluorescent light bulbs - We'll give you a free CFL for every one you recycle at one of our office locations (up to six per household).
o 1200 Fort Vancouver Way
o 8600 NE 117th Avenue
o 100 Columbia Way
If you use natural gas heating, you are also eligible for energy-efficiency rebates and incentives through Energy Trust of Oregon. Visit www.energytrust.org/washington for more information.
Do the math! When replacing appliances or investing in home upgrades, take the time to crunch the numbers and weigh the returns. Often, extra costs up front to maximize energy efficiency will pay off in lower electric bills well into the future.
"Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Midsize Utilities in the West, FiveYears in a Row"
Clark Public Utilities received the highest numerical score among midsize utilities in the West in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2008-2012 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction StudySM. 2012 study based on 104,237 online interviews ranking 12 providers in the West (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, OR, SD, TX, WA). Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed in July 2011-May 2012. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.