OPALCO: Take advantage of energy efficiency rebates while the sun is shining

OPALCO PRESS RELEASE: Summer is a great time to take on efficiency projects and rebates for appliances (heat pump water heaters, clothes washers) and heat pumps (ductless and ducted) are still available. Rebate funding is expected to run out by September and additional funding may not be available until 2017.

OPALCO’s rebate program, funded by Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), has been very successful with more than $2 million paid out to members since 2008. In fact, OPALCO members have been such robust adopters of energy efficiency measures and rebates that we have nearly spent our biennial allotment from BPA – and additional rebate funds we were able to garner from other co-ops who cannot use their full allotments.

In anticipation of this shortage, OPALCO’s Energy Savings staff put a temporary hold on larger projects and weatherization rebates (windows, insulation, duct sealing) last fall in order to make our remaining funds last as long as possible. Rebate details and forms are online at www.opalco.com/rebates.

OPALCO leadership have discussed finding other sources to fund our continued commitment to energy efficiency and conservation. In the fall of 2015, we surveyed the membership about using rates to self-fund energy efficiency rebates until our next allotment of BPA funding is available. Of the 1,623 members completing the survey (14.5% of the membership), more than 78% preferred to put Energy Efficiency and Conservation on hold during a period while funding from BPA is unavailable. Only about 20% of those surveyed were in favor of raising rates to incentivize individual members for energy efficiency. The full report is available online in OPALCO’s Resource Library: www.opalco.com / Resource Library / Governance & Finance / Member Surveys. Energy Rebates FAQs

Until the rebate program is funded again, members are encouraged to continue to do as much as they can to increase their energy conservation and efficiency. These gains help to minimize the load and demand on our cooperative distribution network and continue to decrease our overall carbon footprint in San Juan County.

Orcas Power & Light Cooperative (OPALCO) is our member-owned cooperative electric 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 generated predominantly by hydroelectric plants. OPALCO was founded in 1937.


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