EVERETT, Wash. - Snohomish County Public Utilities officials say customers are blowing away all expectations of going green.
The Public Utilities District says 2009 was the most energy-efficient year of all time.
"Snohomish County PUD exceeded its goal by over 20 percent," said Neil Neroutsos, spokesman for PUD. "We are saving the environment and saving people money and it's great."
Neroutsos says the people of Snohomish County saved 70 million kilowatts of electricity in 2009. That is the equivalent of the energy used to power 6,000 homes.
The savings comes as more and more people are replacing old light bulbs with more energy-efficient devices, weatherizing their homes and replacing old clunker appliances.
Washington's "Cash for Appliances" program is nearly one week old and many are trading in their old washing machines and refrigerators for a $100 government rebate.
"The phones are ringing off the hook with people wanting to trade in their old stuff," said Rick Kvangnes, General Manager of Judd and Black Appliances in Everett.
"People have been waiting for the energy-efficient appliances to become more affordable, and it's now happening. Now is the time to buy," he said.
The concept behind the government's Cash for Appliances program is to use stimulus money to help retailers and manufacturers and make the nation more energy-efficient in the process. $5.6 million in rebates was set aside for Washington's Cash for Appliances program. It will continue until the money is gone.