OPALCO Energy Savings

Earn rewards for your energy savings now, and help the Islands stay sustainable for years to come.

kWh saved as a result of member efficiency upgrades in 2015

Your Energy Usage

Learn how much energy you use in your home and discover the first steps you can take to reduce waste.

Measure Your Energy »
in Energy Efficiency Rebates paid to members in 2015 for 439 projects

Money with Rebates

Apply for rebates for home upgrades like installing a ductless heat pump or insulation.

Claim Your Rebates »
kWhs produced last year by local Member Generators using solar, wind, and micro-hydro technology

Find out
about Community Solar

Become a part local renewable power by participating in OPALCO’s first Community Solar project!

Take part in Community Solar »

What Energy Savings Can Do for You

Savings from energy efficiency and conservation add up quickly. Saving kilowatt hours (kWh) not only saves energy, it helps the Co-op manage its load. Increased comfort and money savings are an immediate reward. Look for ways you can reduce energy waste in your home by selecting the graphic below to learn more. Need help prioritizing your projects? Use our Energy Savings Pyramid tool and call us with any questions about your energy savings plan.

Energy Savings Graphic

Energy Savings Tip

Control drafts by sealing air leaks

Air leaks waste energy and can degrade your home. The Green Building Advisor (GBA) estimates that 1/3 of the energy you pay for most likely leaks out through holes in your house. Caulking and weather stripping around windows and doors are two simple ways to stop leaks. Gaps in attic and basement spaces can also let heat escape. Also, remember to close your fireplace damper when not in use.

Save up to 420 kWh (or $35.91) per winter.

Add insulation

Many older homes have less insulation than homes built today. You can reduce your energy bill by as much as 10% by adding more insulation. R-38 is the recommended level of insulation.

Save up to 235 kWh (or $20.09) per winter

Install low flow showerheads

Heating water uses a lot of energy. Switch to a low-flow showerhead to help you use less hot water. You’ll save energy and pay less for your water and energy bills. We suggest a showerhead with a flow rate of less than 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm). Request a free low flow showerhead (up to 2 per electric service location).

Save up to 28 kWh per bill (or $28.73/year)

Use window coverings

Like people in the winter, windows benefit from an extra layer of insulation. Use insulating shades, or make your own window quilts. Some window treatments advertise their R-value—the higher the R-value, the more they’ll block the heat from going out.

Reduce "vampire" energy loads

Any device with a clock or remote control draws power continuously while plugged in. Television set top boxes with a digital recorder use nearly as much power turned off as they do when in use. To reduce plug loads, unplug devices when not in use, or power them down with a Smart Power strip. Unplug cell phone, laptops, and other chargers when not in use.

Save up to 70 kWh* per bill (or $71.82/year)

*Savings will vary based on the number of devices you unplug and the wattage they draw in standby mode.

Install and use programmable thermostats

Space heating contributes the most to your home electric bill—as much as 50%. Installing a programmable thermostat is a small investment that greatly reduces wasted heat. Recommended settings are 68 degrees F while you’re awake and lower while you’re asleep or away from home. By turning your thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours, you can save 5 to 15% a year on your heating bill.

Save up to 235 kWh (or $20.09) per winter bill

Locally generated power

The OPALCO Member Generator community is over 200 members and growing strong. These members produce power right here in San Juan County – primarily using solar technology.  If you’re thinking about adding solar, click here for more information. Remember to make any necessary home efficiency upgrades first, so you can minimize waste of your solar-generated power.

Buy Energy Star appliances

An estimated 35 million freezers are currently in use in the United States. Over 16 million of these freezers are more than 10 years old, costing consumers $990 million per year on their energy bills. Improvements in insulation and compressors mean today’s freezers consume much less energy than older models. Freezers that have earned the ENERGY STAR are at least 10 percent more energy efficient.


Install energy efficient lightbulbs

LED and CFL bulbs are made for all types of fixtures—indoors and out—including recessed ceiling lights, flood lights, and porch lights. LEDs are available for dimmable fixtures and are now widely available on the warm end of the color spectrum.

Save up to an average of 13 kWh per bill for every 60 watt incandescent bulb replaced (or $13.34 per year for every bulb replaced)

Seal HVAC ducts

Poorly sealed or insulated ducts in unconditioned spaces can lose 5 to 30% of your heated air before it ever reaches the register. Seal those leaks!

Save up to 500 kWh (or $42.75) per winter

Upgrade your water heater

Water heaters are one of the biggest sources of energy consumption, second only to energy used to heat your home. A newer type of water heater, using Heat Pump technology, uses about 60% less energy compared to standard electric storage heaters. Also, program your hot water to a reasonable temperature, for example, 120 degrees F is recommended for conservation without sacrificing comfort. OPALCO offers water heater rebates for Heat Pump water heaters.

Save up to 266 kWh/month (or $272.92/year)

Buy Energy Star appliances

Is your clothes washer over 17 years old? Washers manufactured before 1998 are significantly less efficient than newer models. Energy Star certified washers use about 20% less energy and 35% less water than regular washers. Check out energystar.gov for more information. Also, remember to wash clothes in cold water—you’ll save almost 90% of the energy needed to run a normal load. OPALCO offers Energy Star appliance rebates.

Save an average of 17 kWh per month for upgrading ($17.44/year) and 50 kWh per month by washing in cold water ($51.30/year)

Recycle your second refrigerator/freezer

Older refrigerators and freezers can use up to 3 times as much energy as new Energy Star models. Even worse than the energy they waste is the damage they do to the environment when not disposed of properly. Replace yours.

Use heating sources effectively

Space heating contributes the most to your home electric bill by as much as 50%. No matter what kind of heating you use, proper maintenance and upgrades can help you save energy and increase comfort. Clean or replace furnace filters once a month, or as recommended. Clean warm air registers and baseboard heaters, and make sure they are not blocked by furniture or curtains.

Still using space heaters or baseboard heaters?  There are more efficient options available. Check out our heat pump rebates or call us about efficient space heating.

Electric Vehicles (EVs)

While electric vehicles don’t save electricity, they offer a lot of benefits related to emissions levels, carbon impact, and fuel efficiency. OPALCO employs a Nissan Leaf as part of our transportation fleet.

Learn more here.

Stay tuned for more EV developments in 2017.

July 2016 Total kWhs Billed (in millions)
Island Usage (kWh)
All Islands 12712849
San Juan 6493265
Orcas 3985792
Lopez 1706743
Shaw 202806
Other Islands 324243
Peak Demand = 36,145 kW