Mayor breaks tie vote on Price energy conservation

Sun Advocate reporter
In a close vote, Price City decided to join in an energy efficiency program designed to help reduce energy and save the city and its citizens money.

In a special meeting on Wednesday, the council had a tie with the vote on the Enerlyte energy efficiency program with councilors Jeanne McEvoy and Richard Tatton voting yes and councilors Kathy Hanna-Smith and Rick Davis voting against the program. With councilor Jeff Nielson not present at the meeting, Mayor Joe Piccolo cast the deciding vote breaking the tie and voting in favor of the Enerlyte program.

To join in the Enerlyte program, Price City will have to pay a setup charge fee of $2,200 which is calculated on the number of power customers across the city. Also a fee of $1,700 would be charged per month as long as the city in involved in the program.

Currently the city is entering into a one-year agreement with Enerlyte, according to Nick Tatton, price city community director.

Tatton said that it will take at least 60 days before Price City and Enerlyte have the program up and running, with March or April being the goal. Everything about the program would be done electronically, so nothing would need to be set up within the city, Tatton said.

When the program is in place, residents in Price will see some new information on the back of their power bills with charts and more in-depth information about the amount of power used and average energy usage across the city. The information would also include comparing a customer's house to a house in town that is of similar size and the amount of power usage. For customers who only receive power bills by e-mail, an e-mail with the same charts and information would be sent each month.

"People will be able to see their energy usage trends on their bills and on the Website," said Tatton.

Price City has a peak energy usage calculated between 13 to 13.5 megawatts during the winter time. That peak rises during the summer months to 17 to 17.5 megawatts, with air conditioning units, swamp coolers and other equipment usage being a main factor in the jump, Tatton said.

By just getting a two or three percent reduction in the amount of energy used, Tatton said that it can get the costs down for everybody, including the city.

"It could possibly save customers $2 to $3 a month," said Tatton. "By joining in the program, it is cheaper for the city than going out and having to buy $2,500 worth of power."

Seth Phillips, a business development employee with Enerlyte, said at a previous meeting the company promotes energy saving, even down to the simple tasks of unplugging household devices when not in use.

"Even by just doing the little things like unplugging a coffee pot, putting a television on a power strip and shutting it off at night can make a difference," said Phillips.

Phillips said he has been to other cities around the state including Lehi, Logan City and Brigham City. The responses from those cities have been positive in response to joining the program, he said.

Councilor Hanna-Smith, who voted no, said she felt Price City could have waited another year before thinking of joining in the program. Educating customers within the city would have been a better step to take at this time, she said.

Hanna-Smith also said she got into contact with other cities who have joined in the Enerlyte program, but was told to call back in a month so more feedback could be given on the program.

"This is not a do-or-die deal," she said. "But I do think that we could have waited to see how things played out in other cities within the Enerlyte program."

The possibility of helping residents of Price City by joining the program was one of the reasons councilor Richard Tatton voted in favor of joining.

"It's good for the residents of Price and it will help save power in the process," said councilor Tatton. "The benefits to citizens is greater by joining in the program."

Tatton, in his research on Enerlyte, said that customers could save $5 to $10 on their electric bill. The program is also helpful in being progressive in getting the city and its power customers to use less energy, all the while pushing energy conservation.

According to their Website, Enerlyte is a revolutionary new intelligent energy conservation program. Enerlyte helps everyday customers save money on their utility bills each month by providing the best energy saving advice from the brightest minds in the industry. Enerlyte also helps utility companies monitor the success of their energy efficiency programs to help the utilities understand which programs work and which don't.

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