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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
February 11, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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February 11, 2009
 

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C3 THE ISSAQUAH PRESS HOME& GARDEN WEDNESDA FEBRUARY 11,2009 PSE's insulation upgrade program creating more green homes More than 3,000 Puget Sound Energy customers received nearly $1.9 million worth of insulation upgrade rebates from the utility last year. The installations com- pleted by PSE's prequalified con- tractors was up 44 percent from 2007. "In our current economic cli- mate, homeowners are more likely to invest in cost-effective upgrades that show immediate savings," Cal Shirley, vice president of Energy Efficiency Services for PSE, said in a press release. "People want to see results right away, both in their bills and the value of their homes. PSE makes it easy by of- fering our customers instant re- bates directly through prequalifled contractors." According to Rebekah Ander- son, PSE program manager, 675 Issaquah-area residents have al- ready received insulation upgrade rebates. Analysts at the utility estimate that insulation investments of as little as $550 -- after $400 in in- stant rebates from PSE -- can have an immediate positive impact on heating bill reductions and the assessed value of a home because of the resulting lifetime savings in energy e. "Combating home heating costs is the primary driver of this in- crease in customer insulation up- grades and rebate requests," Shirley explained. "A complete home weatherization can reduce heating costs by as much as 25 percent, meaning customers can see immediate savings and recoup WHATTO KNOW Learn more about the Puget Sound Energy insulation upgrade rebate program by going to www.pse.com or calling 1-800- 562-1482 toll-free. their overall investment in as soon as four and a half years." Matt Jansen, of Cascade Team Real Estate, said even in the cur- rent down market, there are po- tential buyers and many of them do look for upgrades that qualify the homes as "green." "A majority of the homes in the highlands, for example, are four- star green built," he said. "But we're seeing more and more re- models that use improved technol- ogy to upgrade the older homes to eco-friendly status." In addition to remodels, up- grades include weatherization im- provements on the homes, he added. Weatherization includes in- expensive measures, like reducing leaks around windows, doors and chimneys, as well as the more in- volved processes of insulating floors, attics, walls and ducts, and sealing leaks in ductwork. Since 2007, the Northwest Mul- tiple Listing Service includes "green" and "energy efficient" as search criteria for prospective homebuyers, spokeswoman Cheri Breunan said. "The searchable database in- cludes green features," she said. With total possible rebates for "A complete home weather- ization can reduce heating costs by as much as 25 per- cent, meaning customers can see immediate savings and recoup their overall invest- ment in as soon as four and half years" - Cal Shirley PSE v president of Ener D" Eiciency Services insulation upgrades of $1,600 from PSE, the insulation instant rebate program ranks as one of the highest dollar-value incentives PSE offers to residential cus- tomers. While the total energy sav- ings for each household depends on what other behaviors con- tribute to heating use, such as oc- cupancy, leakage and duet sealing, and the types of equipment in- stalled, the energy savings that can result are substantial. More than 6,000 residential PSE customers in Western Washington have taken advantage of PSE's weatherization program receiving a total of $3.2 million in rebates since PSE launched the program in 2004. To qualify for PSE's instant insu- lation rebates, homeowners and renters must be PSE natural gas or electric customers; in buildings with four units or less; and have the work completed by an inde- pendent contractor preauthorized by PSE. February is time to prune fight BY JANE GARRISON You can cut back red twig and ebruary is a good time to dig and move plants, prune fruit trees and roses, cut back orna- mental grasses and just get the plantings ready for the growing season. Pruning brings some concerns, however. Have you noticed that all of the landscaping at new de- velopments is being clipped into little balls or funny shapes? Noth- ing is growing naturally. I'm afraid this shearing and clipping will give pruning a bad name. Clipping absolutely everything with electric hedge trimmers into separate lollypop shapes is a dis- aster. The function and character of the plant should tell you how to prune it. How do you know what is right? Here's a guide to help with most ornamental plants: If it blooms, prune it right after it blooms. If it's evergreen (without blooms, like boxwood), avoid pruning in late summer/early fall. It gets tricky with some plants like hydrangea, because it blooms on last year's wood, If the plant form requires pruning, re- move only a few stems here and there each year. Most conifers, pine, fir, cedar, juniper and arbor vitae won't grow back if you clip off all of their green leaves, so remove only a part of the latest growth just after it has come out. With pines, take off only half of the candle. Never top a conical conifer. A good rule is to remove no MASTER GARDENERS' comer Master gardener clinics are over for the season. They will resume , in April at Squak Mountain Nursery and at the Issaquah Farmers Market. more than one-third of any plant's foliage. Those guidelines cover most plants, and that's enough to stop many people from even trying. If you are afraid, try your hand at the following plants. They yearn to be pruned. yellow twig dogwoods to the ground this winter to produce denser, more colorful stems next year. In fact, do it every year. Forsythia will be healthier and bloom better if you remove old, ill-formed stems clear back to the main trunk after flowering. It's much nicer with a fountain shape rather than a ball. Winter heaths and lavender grow denser and bloom stronger if sheared after blooming. In fact, they look bad if you don't. Plants that get leggy, like rho- dodendrons, can be pruned back severely if they don't have shiny trunks and stems. (Shiny ones are usually tree rhododendrons, and they don't sprout from the trunk.) Cut back shrubby ones to a bud. I've seen completely de- nuded plants come back with new vigor from just a bare trunk. I may sound cavalier in my ap- proach to pruning, but I think if you don't like a plant the way it is, change it. Just please don't shear everything in the yard into separate little funny shapes. Jane Garrison is a local master gardener and landscape architect who gardens in glacial till on the plateau. Mike's Hauling & Tractor Work TRACTOR WORK Post Holes, excavating/grading, rototilling, mowing, brush cutting, cleaning, demolition, drainage solutions DELIVERY Play chips, gravel, rock, topsoil, bark, com REMOVAL Squak Mt., Hayes nurseries offer gardening dasses (425) 392-6990 wwwmikeshaulandtractorcom Squak Mt. hosts classes Squak Mt. Greenhouses and Nurs- ery, 7600 Renton-Issaquah Road S.E., offers the following classes: "Design With New Roses" -- 10:30 a.m. Feb. 14 and 10 a.m. Feb. 18 "Successful Berry Gardening" -- 10:30 a.m. Feb. 14 and 10 a.m. Feb. 25 "Rose Care" -- 10:30 a.m. Feb. 28 "Seeding Vegetables" -- 2:30 p.m. Feb. 28 "Incredible Edibles" -- 10:30 a.m. March 7 Learn mor e bY calling 392-1025 cation, 12504 Issaquah-Hobart or going to Road S.E.: www.squakmtnursery.com. , "Fruit Tree Care and Pruning" -- 10 a.m. Feb. 14 Hayes Nursery hosts classes  "Pruning for Shape and Winter Damage Repair" -- 10 a.m. Feb. 28 Hayes Nursery offers the follow- Register in advance by calling ing free classes at its Issaquah lo- 391-4166. THE ISS0000IJLH PRESS SUBSCRIPTION ORDER: Name Phone Address City. State Zip. [] Bill me [] Check enclosed [] Charge it Visa/Mastercard # exp. $26 one year/S42 two years add $12 outside King County or $15 out of state We'LL Pay Your Heating BILL! We will pay your heating bill for any month you choose following the installation of our Call for details/d Railroad ties, stumps, concrete, asphalt, yard waste Free Estimates Licensed & Bonded. Call anytime before 8:00 p.m. Finding the right home is hard,... Finding the right homeowners .... insurance is easy. See State Farm Agent: Kathy Johnson 392-2224 Gilman Station Issaquah KATHY.JOH NSON.B73D@STATEFARM .COM STATE FARM INSURANCE . Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. STATE FARM FIRE AND CASUALTY COMPANY ', HOME OFFICE: BLOOMINGTON, ILLINOIS Directions: Take Exit 17 Off 1-90. Go 3 1/2 miles South on Front Street. Open Mon- Sat 9-5, Sunday 11-5. Bare Root Trees plant now & save 20% Grow your own peaches, apples, cherries and more! All bare root trees are on sale and ready for planting now. See the wonderful selection of house plants in stock for a spring look inside your home. t" ......... "% t 20% OFF* t I All Bare Root Trees I . --..-- --. --- --- --- --- --. --- --*While supplies last. With this coupon j Our certified professionals wilt help you choose the perfect trees for your garden. Hayes Your Garden Inspiration www.hayesnursery.com 12504 Issaquah-Hobart Rd. SE, Issaquah (425) 391-4166 Quality Remodeling Remodeling Issaquab for 33 years. Additions, kitchens, baths. Remodeling of all kinds. Expert storm damage repairs 425-392-4751 Lic. No. CRAIGSC961JZ ^@ MEMBER Now available at Paints 10600 Main Street 2221-140th Ave. NE 612-228th Ave. NE Bellevue Overlake Evans Plaza Sammamish by Safeway 425-45*7509 425-641-7711 425-836-5484 0urs: Mon-Fri 7 Sat 94 Sun 104 Hours: Mon-Fri 7 Sat 94 Hours: Mon-I:ri 7-6 Sat 94 Sun 104 o20 Benjamin Moore & Co. Benjamin Moore. the crown device, Regal and the triangle "M" symbol are registered trademarks, licensed to Benjamin Moore & Co.