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Ask Lindsay: Tips for Businesses in San Juan County

What programs are available to OPALCO businesses?

In 2023, OPALCO has a grant-funded program for businesses called Energize San Juans. This grant helps businesses and farms in the islands upgrade their systems for greater energy efficiency – and cost savings. We’re working with Sustainable Connections, an Opportunity Council organization in Bellingham, that offers energy audits, technical expertise and a powerful package of incentives. Check out the story on the next page about one our local businesses that benefited from the program in 2012.

What sort of incentives are offered with the Energize San Juans program?

  • USDA Rural Energy for American Program (REAP) Grants available that can cover up to 25% of solar & energy improvements for rural businesses and farms
  • Up to $5,000 in energy saving incentives from the Community Energy Challenge – including up to $1,000 in LED light bulbs
  • 26% tax credit to offset solar panel project cost
  • Super-discounted, low-cost energy audit for businesses and farms of any size

Is this program available for a limited time?

Yes, the grant will be available through December 2023 or as the limited funds last, so apply today! REAP grant deadlines are in March and October; get your audit started to be ready to apply for up to 25% of your project costs.

How do I apply?

It’s easy! Email energy@sustainableconnections.org or call (360) 647-7093 extension 112 and they can get you started.

Are there other programs available?

OPALCO has two other programs to support businesses in their efficiency upgrades. There are rebates available for commercial kitchens, commercial lighting, commercial ductless heat pumps and commercial weatherization. Businesses can get up to $8,500 back on some of these projects! Find out more or apply here: https://www.opalco.com/save/commercial-rebates/.

 

Get your efficiency and/or renewable energy project started with no money down using OPALCO’s on-bill financing program, Switch It Up.  OPALCO has access to $48M in USDA Rural Energy Saving Program funding to help members finance projects for 2% interest for up $100,000 per meter (businesses may qualify for higher financing based on project review). Check out the full range of project options at www.opalco.com/switchitup.

What else should businesses know?

We are here to help with energy needs and can sometimes help with custom rebates for commercial projects. Please call or email if you have any questions!

ask lindsay
Lindsay at the Decatur Island Community Solar Project

Lindsay Gross, Energy Savings Coordinator, is at the center of the hub for OPALCO’s energy savings, conservation, rebate, and on-bill financing programs. Lindsay would more than happy to assist you in positioning your home or business with current incentives for energy savings – good for the budget and good for the planet.

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