PUD conservation program has rebates
February 17, 2022
The Wahkiakum PUD Board of Directors got an update on energy conservation programs and heard a report about recent activity at the utility at their meeting on Tuesday.
Lia Sealund, a customer service representative at the PUD who is well-versed in conservation programs offered by Bonneville, fielded questions from the commissioners and gave an overview of the current biennium for the programs as well as for the last one.
The current biennium is from October 2021 to September 2023, she said, and Wahkiakum PUD has been given a budget of just over $98,000 for the two year period. Over the last four months, they have already spent or set aside a little over $22,000 for some completed projects, and projects that are pre-approved.
So far, 19 customers have applied for rebates, and there is a little over $75,000 left for the remaining period.
Currently, residential and business customers can take advantage of rebates for ductless heat pumps, air source heat pumps, windows, insulation, and heat pump water heaters.
Lighting is the only program that cannot be used for residential rebates, but it can help businesses convert to LEDs.
Sealund said that during the previous biennium, from October 2019 to September 2021, 58 customers took advantage of the programs they offered. Of those 58, 16 projects were for lighting.
The average cost for each project was $6,700, she said, and the average PUD rebate was $1,336, about 20 percent.
“I think that is a positive thing to acknowledge, that customers are finding it to be worthy of their personal investment to make these improvements,” Sealund said.
Sealund said the results of a customer usage review are for a period between 2017 and 2019. She focused on some of the customers who had taken advantage of the rebates for ductless heat pumps, air source heat pumps, lighting, windows, and/or insulation and found that the average overall kWh usage was reduced by 21 percent.
“It’s exciting to see people taking advantage of these programs,” General Manager Dan Kay said.
During his report, Kay said that they were getting new customer applications almost every day.
He said the PUD was working on replacing poles, and maintenance and leak detection were being done by the water crew on the Westend.
Kay said that there continued to be challenges with procuring materials. It’s taking longer, and it’s costing them more for items they use regularly.
Kay also said that he and the water foreman, Jim Jesperson would soon meet with engineers at Gray and Osborne, Inc., to discuss 2022 water projects, and addressed a brief, one second outage on the east side of the county that occurred last Wednesday around 8:52 a.m.
Bonneville Power Adminstration reported what he called a “phase to ground fault” somewhere on Puget Island, which was resolved by a recloser.
“We offered to drive by and look for anything that was outstanding,” Kay said.