The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

PUD conservation dollars go to work


December 6, 2018

The Wahkiakum County PUD Board of Commissioners got an update on how conservation dollars were being used, learned about water pressure issues on Puget Island and approved a resolution that authorized a mutual aid agreement for a water system intertie in Skamokawa.

Lia Sealund, a customer service representative, said that the PUD was a little over halfway through the current biennium for their energy efficiency program, which began in October 2017.

Thus far they have expended about 72 percent of their $102,158 budget. In the past 14 months, the PUD has worked with 46 customers on 53 projects to improve energy efficiency. Thirteen projects are still pending.

“A lot of projects in the pending folder are the retrofitting of several different facilities for the Town of Cathlamet, for their lighting,” Sealund said. “That will update eight different sites for the Town of Cathlamet.”

According to Sealund’s report, lighting and air source heat pumps have the biggest return on investment.

“We’re a weird industry, where we try to run away our income,” Commissioner Dennis Reid said to Sealund, “but that’s what we’re charged with doing, and you’re doing a good job.”

Sealund told commissioners that she sometimes heard from frustrated customers after they learned about rebates at box stores in Cowlitz County, only to find out those programs were not available in Wahkiakum.

“It’s always good to diversify and be looking at opportunities,” Sealund said. “We’ll have that conversation as we head towards the next biennium, what else can we do. Currently the programs that we’re offering are working.”

A Puget Island resident in attendance had concerns about water and water pressure on Puget Island, and Jim Jespersen, who leads the water department at the PUD, addressed the customer’s concerns.

“A while back we replaced both the six inch and the two inch pressure reducing valves in all the pilots. The pilot that we received for the two inch was not the correct one at the time We have since replaced it with the correct one,” Jespersen said.

Finally, with the newly acquired Skamokawa water system in mind, the commissioners approved a mutual aid agreement with Wahkiakum County Port District 2 regarding the use of emergency water system interties.

“If either party has an emergency situation, they have the authority to tap into the intertie,” Counsel Tim Hanigan explained.


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