PUD considers rates, energy efficiency
Wahkiakum PUD Customer Service Representative Lia Sealund updated the board of commissioners on the rebate program for energy efficiency and made suggestions for future projects at Tuesday’s PUD meeting.
“The intention of the rebate funding is to reduce electrical consumption for our district,” Sealund said. “I thought it would be helpful to highlight the return on the investment. Where are we capturing the biggest savings? For every dollar that we’ve invested in rebate funds for the ductless heat pump, we capture 3 kWh saved annually, through the life of the measure.”
The PUD saves twice as much with lighting projects.
With 506 security lights in the their system, Sealund estimates that the PUD could capture 150,000 kWh per year for the life of the measure if the PUD swaps out the current security lights for LEDs.
“I think it demonstrates to our customers that we are trying to provide the most efficient equipment possible,” Sealund said. “Trending toward the more efficient measures is good stewardship of public funds.”
Staff will do more research.
Shifting the subject to the mission of the PUD, General Manager Dave Tramblie touched on rates and reliability.
“We’ve put in a lot of effort to make sure our rates and reliability are where they need to be,” Tramblie said. “When I started here over 17 years ago, our rates were 108 percent higher than our neighbors. Shortly, our rates will be 8 percent higher. We don’t have all the bells and whistles, but I think we’re meeting our goals in the mission statement.”
He listed several recent outages and remarked that most problems are due to trees.
“People who have lived here for decades know how much better the reliability is,” Commissioner Dennis Reid pointed out. “I hear comments on that.”
The new online bill notification system has been tested, according to Auditor Erin Wilson, and people have begun to sign up.
“Hopefully that will encourage more electronic payment as well,” Wilson remarked.
The commissioners approved a resolution to adopt a new large load policy and then closed the public meeting for an executive session to discuss possible litigation. No action was taken.
The next PUD Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for September 2 at 8:30 a.m.