Are you ready to

Switch it up?

Save $$thousands$$ when you switch to electricity for heating and transportation! OPALCO will provide on-bill financing for your qualified projects.

It's a triple win

1

You Save on Energy Costs

Save $$ on your total energy spending each month, even while paying for your measure over time.

2

Our County Gets Greener

We can all do our part to protect the Salish Sea and all its inhabitants by reducing carbon for cleaner air and water. OPALCO’s electricity is 97% greenhouse gas free.

 

3

Your Money Stays Local

Investing your energy $$ in electricity helps to keep co-op rates affordable. Locally owned and operated, we control our energy future and the sustainability of our communities.

 

How do I participate?

It’s easy to get started: 1) Get a bid from a licensed contractor; 2) Fill out an application; 3) Switch It Up! Application and bid to OPALCO

Ductless Heat Pump

Super efficient ductless systems are two-way heat pumps that transfer heat between outdoor and indoor air to create a comfortable temperature in your home. Learn how it works.

  • Uses up to 50% less energy to save you money every month
  • Heating and cooling in one system
  • Increased comfort year-round

Heat Pump Water Heater

Heat pump water heaters use 60% less energy, moving heat rather than generating it for substantial savings on your monthly energy bill. Learn more.

  • Save more than $300/year (estimated) on electricity
  • Greater control of temperature and operating modes, based on your specific demand
  • Heating water accounts for 18% of energy used in an average home

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charger

An electric vehicle saves you an average of $1,000 per year compared to a gas-powered car that gets 30 MPG. Keep it charged and ready at home!

  • EVs produce 200x less greenhouse gases per mile
  • EVs are quiet make a perfect island car
  • Join the EV revolution for clean air and water!
  • Compare models and calculate your savings at ChooseEV

Calculate your savings and impact potential

Step 1: What would you like to install?
Step 2: What is the estimated cost of your project?
$0
Step 3: What is your current primary heating source?
See your results

Figures are estimates only based on typical home in San Juan County.

Your Cost

Loan Term: 10 years

Monthly On-Bill Charge: $

Total Interest: $

Principal: $

Your Estimated Savings

Monthly Savings: $

Annual Savings: $

Lifetime Savings: $

I'm ready to make the switch!

Here’s your Switch It Up! Application! Get started today.

All OPALCO members may apply. Eligibility is determined by two factors: 1) your credit rating with OPALCO (no arrears and a good bill payment history); and 2) your proposed equipment is qualified for the measure. Your contractor will know which equipment meets the standards.

If you are not the property owner, the owner must sign an agreement, since the improvements and financing charges stay with the property.

2% amortized

The on-bill financing period varies by measure:

  • Ductless Heat Pumps: 10 years
  • Heat Pump Water Heaters: 5 years
  • EV Chargers: 3 years

 

To remove the main barrier to entry: the up-front costs. Providing low-interest financing allows more members to tap into the significant energy savings offered by modern ductless heat pumps and heat pump water heaters.

No. However, owners of record must complete an application and sign an agreement to accept responsibility for communicating the charges with their current and any future tenants. OPALCO will only finance projects if the verifiable property owner(s) sign an agreement.

No. Members sign an agreement with OPALCO to opt-in to a meter conservation charge tariff which is placed on the metered utility service. The tariff includes the calculation factors included in the meter conservation charge. The tariff is just like any other charge for electric service on your bill.

No. Members may still choose to install and pay for the measure themselves and then submit to OPALCO for a rebate OR apply for on-bill financing. However, if you’re doing a fuel-switching measure (propane, oil, wood, etc. to electricity), there may be additional incentives available. Please contact us for more information.

Yes. A fee of $50 is charged to the member’s account after the work has been completed and the project funds are disbursed. There is no fee if a customer does not complete the project. Members can roll the fee into the project financing.

Each program measure has defined dollar limits. EV charging stations have a project cap of $2,500 each, heat pump water heaters are capped at $3,500 and ductless heat pumps have a cap of $15,000. If your project is expected to be higher, please contact us in advance.

Members can apply for as many projects as they like, limited to one of each available measure per meter and pending funding availability. Members with multiple accounts could have multiple measures attached to multiple meters. Each must be applied for separately.

Yes, the same limits per meter apply.

Yes, your monthly tariff charge will appear as a separate line item on your bill.

After OPALCO receives the completed application, approval may take up to 15 days. You will receive a letter and/or an email from OPALCO notifying you of approval or denial.

OPALCO uses a decision matrix that considers the amount of the project, your OPALCO payment history, and the details of the installation. On occasion, you may be asked for additional information to determine eligibility.

No, but we do record a filing with the San Juan County Clerk. The actual document filed is a Notice of Meter Conservation Charge (NMCC), which is a recorded public notification that a financial obligation is attached to the metered location. While this filing does not place a lien on the home owner’s property, the tariff charge is required to be disclosed to the subsequent home purchaser when selling the home. Since the charge stays with the home, you are required to disclose it when selling your house.

OPALCO may require a filing based on several criteria: 1) amount requested for project financing, 2) total balance of all active OPALCO financing, and 3) payment and credit history with OPALCO. If a filing is required, it will be noted on your project approval letter.

Your application (including a quote from your contractor) and project approval is valid for six months. If your application is older than six months, you may be required to complete a new application.

With your approval letter, you will also receive an Energy Conservation Agreement. Your next step is to review and sign the ‘Switch It Up! On-Bill Energy Conservation Agreement’ and, once the signed agreement is returned to OPALCO, you are ready to contact your contractor for installation. For all measures, the member is responsible for selecting and coordinating installation with the contractor. Once OPALCO received the signed Agreement, your contractor can do the work.

Members are fully responsible for selecting and coordinating with contractors. For ductless heat pumps, you may choose a contractor from OPALCO’s List*:

  • Barron Heating 360-676-1131
  • Bion Island Plumbing 360-376-6700
  • Harbor Heating 360-378-4130
  • Rex Ellsworth 360-378-5259
  • Sage Building Solutions 360-468-4040
  • San Juan Heating 360-317-6554
  • Streamside Renewables 360-376-6444
  • West Mechanical 360-378-5519

Another good resource for ductless heat pump contractors is: goingductless.com.

*please note, the contractors listed are familiar with OPALCO’s programs and policies. OPALCO does not endorse any contractor.

After the project is completed, the contractor will send the invoice and the Contractor Release Form to OPALCO. Once OPALCO verifies all documents are complete the funds will be disbursed directly to the contractor, usually within one to two weeks.

You are required to disclose the Energy Conservation Charge to the subsequent purchaser. The charge is a tariff of the utility for electric service. The repayment obligation is assigned to the premises and survives changes in ownership and/or tenancy. No action is required from OPALCO if you refinance. Consult your lender.

The charges stay with the property. If you maintain ownership of the property, you (or your tenant) will continue to be billed. Please inform OPALCO of your new address as the property owner and provide contact information for who will receive the bills (owner or tenant).

The interest ensures that costs are born by the participants of this program, not the general membership. Our lender, USDA/RUS requires that we maintain a reserve in case loans are not paid back. Costs covered by the 2% interest include staff time, county filing fees, marketing costs, loss reserves, etc.