Spokane Journal of Business

Avista launches online tool to help with job-site power

Utility says service should help contractors prevent electricity-related delays

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Avista Corp. has launched a new online tool aimed at helping contractors, home builders, and developers manage power at construction sites.

Found on Avista's builder services website, www.avistautilities.com/builder, the service allows a contractor to monitor the progress of services Avista provides as a project moves along. Property owners also can use the tool when handling an addition or an extensive remodel for which a power supply is needed beyond that already provided to the structure.

The tool can be used to order temporary power for a job site and permanent power for a finished structure.

Free to use, the system is designed to give customers better access and time management options, says Connie Gorman, an Avista underground joint-services technician who works with builders and developers.

"When a developer starts building a home, usually temporary power is required to help build the home," she says. "From the very beginning of the project, the developer can go online and create an account, and say what size it is and what type of services the home will need."

Sue Baldwin, account executive and development specialist with Avista, adds that a major goal of the tool is to ensure that the construction progress doesn't get held up because a fee didn't get paid or an electrician didn't file a permit. She adds, "For a developer, time is money."

Avista representatives discovered the need for such a tool after getting input from construction industry representatives in November of 2009. The company then developed the tool and launched a prototype about eight months ago, says Avista spokeswoman Laurine Jue.

After receiving feedback from a few regional homebuilders who helped test the new tool, Avista rolled it out earlier this month.

Treva Lind
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