OPALCO Passes $$ and Energy Savings to Co-op Members

OPALCO distributed more than $230,000 in rebates for energy efficiency and conservation measures to 383 co-op members since October 2012. These rebates are funded by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) through our wholesale power bill. OPALCO funds the Energy Services staffing so that every conservation dollar from BPA is passed through to our members. We recently received an additional $175,000 to spend on member rebates before September 30th. What have you been thinking about doing to increase your energy efficiency at home—or for your business?

OPALCO’s BPA-funded energy efficiency and conservation program includes rebates for appliances, heat pumps and weatherization (energysavings.opalco.com/rebates). OPALCO’s energy efficiency programs are so successful that we’ve already spent our allotted funds ($230,000) and were able to procure additional funding ($175,000) from two other electric co-ops in the region who will not spend down their whole allotments from BPA.

“OPALCO is one of our top producing co-ops in terms of energy efficiency and conservation,” said Stuart Clarke, Senior Account Executive for BPA. “Their programs and outreach success are a model for other co-ops in the region.”

How can you access these energy efficiency funds? The best way to get started is to schedule a Home Snapshot Energy Assessment by calling 376-3586. For a $25 fee, OPALCO’s Building Performance Institute (BPI) certified contractors inspect your home from top to bottom including insulation, windows and doors, heating system, ventilation and air quality, appliances and lighting. While they’re in your home, they will replace your incandescent light bulbs with efficient compact fluorescent lightbulbs— worth more than the $25 inspection fee! The contractor prepares a report on your home’s energy efficiency status and potential and makes prioritized recommendations for improvements that could save you money on your electric bill—and help you to better manage your energy load. In many cases, the savings you gain from energy efficiency exceed the cost of the improvements!

With your Snapshot report in hand, you can get help financing your energy efficiency improvements through Islanders Bank’s “Get Connected” small home improvement loan program. OPALCO has partnered with Islanders to make loans of between $2,000-10,000 available for qualified members at low interest rates. Learn more at: www.islandersbank.com.

In addition to funding from BPA, OPALCO’s board has created the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Educational Grant with $50,000 in funding for each calendar year. Organizations that are providing education about energy efficiency and conservation in San Juan County can apply for the grant—the applicaton is online: energysavings.opalco.com/energy-services/resources/education-outreach/. For 2013, there is still more than $25,000 available.

Make hay while the sun shines! Summer is the best time to get a Snapshot and start your home energy improvement projects. Check out all of the many resources available through your Co-op Energy Services department. What will YOU do to save money and energy this summer?