NIMBYs prevail over generator
June 10, 2008 · Updated 6:51 PM
HANSVILLE The Puget Sound Energy saga over temporary diesel generators isnt over, but there is more positive attitude prevailing within the community now than there was six months ago.
At the latest public meeting on the subject Nov. 21, project manager Ben Hodge announced PSE had cancelled its five-year easement contract with Kitsap Public Utility District for the spring site. The utility company had planned to use a site near Gust Halvor Road when power outages required generator usage.
Puget Sound Energy recently agreed with Kitsap County officials not to create a generator site in Hansville this winter. Instead, it will look into other sites further south for the future, Hodge said.
The most recent site being considered is on land owned by Pope Resources, on the north end of Little Boston Road. The companys purpose for changing sites is primarily to reduce the impact on residents and the environment, Hodge said.
Last spring, PSE proposed establishing a location in Hansville where it could temporary place low-sulfur diesel generators during the winter on an as-needed basis. The generators would be a short-term solution to provide power in case the underwater cable in Gamble Bay overloaded and created a power outage in the community.
However, residents have been concerned with the potential impacts of this solution, including noise, air and water pollution to the rural area from the generators.
As for a long-term solution, which has been another major concern of citizens, Hodge said PSE is getting the final analysis of the design options and hopes to start the permitting process next year for a Gamble Bay cable.
Its very difficult for us to schedule (permitting) with any accuracy, Hodge said. It could take three months or weve seen it (take as long as) 20 months.
While PSE is doing their part, officials are asking residents to help out.
In return, the community, besides taking some risk of an outage this winter, will also develop a volunteer load reduction plan, he said.
The plan includes residents alerting each other when power usage threatens to overload circuits, Hodge said. PSE will also educate the community on energy efficiency throughout the winter.
For starters, Hodge suggested residents reduce the usage of electric stoves, heaters, water heaters and laundry facilities during the peak hours between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. He said the majority of residents who attended Fridays meeting said they would be willing to help reduce their electricity load and wanted to know how they could help.
Linda Redling, who lives in the valley south of Hansville and near the spring site, was quite pleased with the new decision from PSE.
Im happy they are not going to put the generator in, Redling said. They are asking the community to conserve energy, which we should be doing anyway.
Redling said she was also happy that company officials will be rushing the process to replace the underwater cable in Gamble Bay.
Everyone was willing to cooperate and understood the need to conserve, added Shorewoods resident Julie Miller.
Hansville Community Board community affairs representative Gretchen Lee said she thinks residents will pull through and work together this winter.
My assumption had been from earlier that we were going to have a back up here for the winter but I think knowing the Hansville community, well pull together and get through this just fine, Lee said. I think the community is perfectly capable of monitoring its usage and cutting it back when the days get cold.
There are several energy-efficiency measures residents can implement to ensure their homes are heated comfortably and cost-effectively during the winter months.
Replace conventional light bulbs with CFL bulbs.
If heating with an electric furnace: Close the door to one or two unheated rooms, but do not close more than one-quarter of the homes heat registers.
If heating with an electric heat pump: Do not close any heat registers and leave doors to all rooms slightly open.
Keep your thermostat at 70 degrees fahrenheit or the lowest comfortable setting when people are active and home.
When people are sleeping, set the thermostat to the lowest acceptable temperature.
If ductwork goes through an unheated basement, attic or crawl space, check for leaky joints or disconnected sections. Seal leaky joints with latex duct mastic or foil backed butyl tape. Reconnect loose sections, seal and support.
Fill or patch holes in ceilings that allow warm air into unheated attics.
Weather strip access doors or hatches to unheated upper floors.
Fill, patch or caulk holes in floors that connect to unheated basements or crawl spaces. Often large holes can be found in closets.
Use inexpensive weather-stripping and door sweeps to reduce air leaks around entry doors. For a no-cost fix, roll up a bath towel and hold it against the bottom of the door with a weight.
Keep the fireplace damper closed when a wood-burning fireplace is not being used, or add tight fitting glass doors. An open fireplace damper can add up to 10 percent to your annual heating costs.
To obtain more information about energy efficiency and available programs, visit the Your Home section at www.pse.com or contact PSEs Energy Advisors at (800) 562-1482.
*Source: Puget Sound Energy.