The new electrical buy-back program credits consumers with 5 cents per kilowatt hour (Kwh) saved, above an initial saving of at least 5 percent, compared to the same time last year.
It has already paid out $133,681.10 to Washington and Idaho power consumers -- this number includes industrial clients, however.
While industrial users may see more savings and rebates, many residential customers won't see a large return.
Let's say last year in April you were billed 450 Kwh at 5 cents a pop, for a total of $22.50. In order to get any money back at all, you must first reduce that bill by 22.5 kilowatt hours (or 5 percent).
This year, the meter came out at 410 kilowatt hours. You saved 40 kilowatt hours -- or 8.9 percent. For every kilowatt hour over the initial 5 percent reduction, you'll get 5 cents back. In this case, you'll get 5 cents per 17.5 kilowatt hours, or 88 & cent; back. But you should also add the price of the 40 kilowatt hours you didn't use -- that is another $2.
So your total savings would be $2.88 -- or just about enough for a 14 oz. latte every month. Of course use may go up in summer, so you could save more during months other than April.
Residential consumers, individually, don't usually use a lot of power in the first place. But overall, the combined residential use is enormous, so if Avista can get everyone to save just a little, it will add up to being a lot. Avista says you can save 5 percent without much effort -- by replacing traditional light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights or just by turning off lights and turning the air conditioner to 78 degrees during the summer.