Wahkiakum PUD customers are taking advantage of funding Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) provides to foster energy conservation in homes and businesses, PUD commissioners heard at a July 3 meeting.
Twenty customers have received rebates for installing energy-efficient ductless heat pumps, insulation, windows, and/or refrigerators since the funding period began in October 2011, reported PUD employee Lia Sealund, who is in charge of the PUD’s conservation programs. Other customers have participated in energy audits and a pilot study for heat pump water heaters.
Including an in-process project at Wahkiakum High School, $89,005 has been spent this fiscal period (ending September 2013). Another $34,000 is available, said Sealund.
Commissioner Bob Jungers noted individual energy conservation efforts have the potential to benefit all PUD ratepayers over time, because BPA’s tiered rate structure offers lower rates to utilities purchasing less power.
PUD Auditor Erin Wilson said the residential energy assistance program balance is at $90 at the present. The money is used to help eligible low-income customers keep the power on at their homes. Other funding sources have been expended until November, but Wilson said some PUD customers have pledged donations after seeing information about the program on their monthly bills.
“A dollar from every ratepayer would be virtually painless,” said Commissioner Gene Healy, “but would add up to around $2,000 with all customers participating,” finished Commissioner Dennis Reid.
“People that receive that assistance are very appreciative that other customers have provided those funds,” said Wilson.