Truckee utility district readies for new conservation efforts |

Truckee utility district readies for new conservation efforts

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Utility district officials this week unveiled new conservation efforts designed to reduce usage of water and electricity and lower customer bills.

and#8220;The district has a robust stable of water and energy conservation programs and#8212; 17 energy programs and five water programs,and#8221; said Steve Poncelet, Truckee Donner Public Utility District public information and conservation manager, during Wednesdayand#8217;s board meeting. and#8220;Weand#8217;re moving beyond rebates to give always and direct installs.and#8221;

One new program is a green challenge where the utility district will install efficiency kits and#8212; which include things like CFL bulbs and#8212; into Tahoe Truckee Unified School District schools, while partnering with Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships, Poncelet said.

Another idea is creating a water-efficient toilet program, which was planned for 2009; however, as new water meters were installed last year, significant customer-side leaks were found, Poncelet said, and the district shifted focus to fixing that.

The conservation budget in 2010 is about $741,000 for energy savings and $118,500 for water savings. It costs the district $.015 to save a kilowatt of energy, versus the roughly $.13 cost of using that kilowatt, Poncelet said.

and#8220;Thatand#8217;s almost $980,000 in total savings for a cost of $860,000 and#8212; thatand#8217;s great,and#8221; said Board President Jeff Bender.

Board members also took time Wednesday to remember former colleague Pat Sutton, 79, who died on Saturday after a bout with cancer.

and#8220;I would like to express the boardand#8217;s deepest condolences to her family,and#8221; Bender said.

and#8220;Iand#8217;d look at something on the agenda and start making up my mind,and#8221; said board member Joe Aguera. and#8220;Pat would say her spiel and I would go, and#8216;oh man, I didnand#8217;t think of that.and#8217;and#8221;

Board member Ron Hemig said Sutton never forgot anything, and had the ability to recall details on any discussion before the board.

and#8220;Whenever I mention Iand#8217;m on the PUD board, everybody always knew Pat,and#8221; said Board member John Hillstrom. and#8220;Weand#8217;re really going to miss that history.and#8221;

Bender suggested a resolution to dedicate the districtand#8217;s water-wise demonstration garden to Sutton, which Poncelet said would likely be discussed at the next meeting in two weeks.

A memorial service for Sutton is planned on Friday, Feb. 12, at 2 p.m. at the Truckee Community Center on Church Street.