Islanders Bank and OPALCO Partner to Encourage Energy Efficiency Savings

Orcas Power & Light Cooperative has partnered with Islanders Bank to bring energy efficiency tools and savings to islanders in San Juan County. OPALCO members can schedule a Home Snapshot Energy Assessment, get an expert report on their home’s systems and efficiency and then fund the home improvement projects through Islanders Bank.

According to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, cost-effective energy efficiency could meet 85 percent of the new load in the region over the next 20 years. Randy Cornelius, OPALCO’s General Manager added, “The more we can work together toward greater energy efficiency, the more we can forestall higher market rates for electricity in the near future. Each member who takes action and improves the energy efficiency of their home is contributing toward a more sustainable energy future for themselves – and for all co-op members.”

For a fee of $25 (thanks to a subsidy from Bonneville Power Administration’s Conservation Program), OPALCO members can have a certified Building Performance Analyst inspect their home from top to bottom including insulation, windows and doors, heating system, ventilation and air quality, appliances and lighting. The contractor will prepare a report on the home’s energy efficiency status and potential and make prioritized recommendations for improvements that could save money on your electric bill – and help you to better manage your energy load.

While the contractor is in the home, they will offer to replace all of your light bulbs with more efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and install low-flow showerheads as a part of the service for no extra charge. More extensive and technical assessments like blower door tests and infrared photography to track air leakage are also available directly from the contractors.

With a new understanding of your home and a list of prioritized recommendations in hand, the next step is to apply for a loan through Islanders Bank’s new Get Connected Small Home Improvement Loan Program to fund energy efficiency improvements to your home. Islanders Bank’s Get Connected Program offers low-interest loans to qualifying households in San Juan County for targeted home improvement projects and installation of renewable energy generators like solar panels or wind turbines.

“Islanders Bank is committed to the San Juan Islands and energy efficiency,” said Brad Williamson, Islanders Bank President. “This partnership is a great example of how our community works: Islanders Helping Islanders to improve our quality of life and keep our communities strong and healthy.” To apply for a Get Connected Small Home Improvement Loan or to learn more, go to www.islandersbank.com or call your local Islanders branch. To schedule a Home Snapshot Energy Assessment, call OPALCO’s Energy Services Department at 376-3586. OPALCO’s website: energysavings.opalco.com is your go-to source for tools and information about energy efficiency and conservation. Sign up for the Sharing the Load energy services blog (energysavings.opalco.com) and get the latest news and information delivered to your email account.

OPALCO is a member-owned cooperative electrical utility serving more than 11,000 members on 20 islands in San Juan County. OPALCO provides electricity that is 95% greenhouse-gas free and is predominately generated by hydroelectric plants. OPALCO was founded in 1937 to bring electricity to rural islanders.

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Photo caption: “Tony Fyrqvist of Islanders Bank with CFL Charlie in Friday Harbor to promote energy efficiency.