Kennewick gets big rebate from Benton PUD

Kennewick gets big rebate from Benton PUD
KENNEWICK, Wash. - A big payoff for Kennewick has been a long time in the making.

The city got back almost $800 thousand dollars from Benton PUD. Kennewick used your money on a large-scale conservation effort.
Those changes saved enough energy to power nearly 200 homes for an entire year.

KEPR dug further to learn more about those changes. They include an overhauling of the lighting system in the Toyota Center and Toyota Arena. Plus switching light bulbs in more than 20 buildings and more than 5000 streetlights. That was no simple swap.

{SOT - Kevin Fischer/BENTON PUD PROJECT MANAGER} "the biggest obstacle we had was putting in the street lights. We were looking for a retro-fit technology so we had to make sure we had all of our ducks in a row."

The new bulbs use about half the energy -- last a decade -- and require less maintenance.

What does this means for residents?

Mayor Steve Young said, "Well it means money that we don't have to use of of the general fund, that's the bottom line. This money, this rebate check will help us with such things as fire department services, paramedic services, road repair and so on."

We wanted to know if savings like this could be found in other cities. We learned Franklin PUD is also working towards conservation. It has taken on hundreds of business and home projects and overhauled the lighting system at CBC.

This saved customers a million dollars just last year.

Debbie Bone-Harris with Franklin PUD said, "If we can't help our customers conserve energy to conserve dollars, why are we here?"

Richland is on the same path.

They've also been looking into big, community-wide conservation efforts like changing out the street lamps but they're not quite there yet. For now, they're going to remain focused on their residential customers.

All three companies working towards conserving all the energy they can. If they save, you save.

Kennewick used federal grant money to help pay for the changes it made.