From our co-op family to yours: we hope this finds you safe and well. It’s getting hard to be patient as the weeks add up and the sun comes out. OPALCO is concerned about the plight of our members and is working to find ways to help; please be patient as we develop new measures that serve you well while also protecting the viability of our Co-op.
The OPALCO Board will consider a package of new measures (residential and commercial) at it’s April 23rd meeting. Members can participate by joining Facebook LIVE @ 8:30am. We request that commercial members looking for help fill out a COVID-19 relief form in advance – it will help our team to assess the scope and make decisions about how to spread the limited funding to meet the greatest need.
There are a number of loans and grants available to businesses from government sources – and it can be a challenge to sort through all of the information. The San Juan County Economic Development Council has consolidated a list of available resources for local businesses on its website: https://www.sanjuansedc.org/covid-19/ and, along with our local chambers and the Visitors’ Bureau, has created the #IslandsStrong campaign. Through #IslandsStrong, anyone can help keep our local businesses afloat by buying gift cards for later or, in some cases, for take out and delivery services available now. Businesses can sign up at www.IslandsStrong.com.
Everyone is affected by this pandemic, and we each have our part to play. OPALCO, along with our subsidiary Rock Island Communications, is committed to keeping the power on, internet and cellular services flowing. In fact, Rock Island has provided hot-spots and internet connections to more than 100 families in San Juan County for kids to access distance learning and stay engaged with school. OPALCO is working with the Orcas Island Community Foundation to provide power and wifi for the homeless shelters it is setting up. While the financial resources of a member-owned non-profit cooperative are limited, we are doing everything we can within our area of expertise to increase the safety net for the 20 islands that OPALCO serves.
OPALCO’s top priority is your safety. We will keep our electrical system running and keep you connected to the people that you care about and the resources that you need. With the sun coming out and the days warming, we face new challenges to keep our distance from each other. We are so lucky to live in a place where we can get outside and enjoy the benefits of the natural world. Please do it with caution. Wear your mask and keep your distance. Looking out for each other: it’s the island way.
Current COVID Relief Measures:
No late fees
No disconnects for unpaid balances
Businesses can disconnect without fees
Payment plans to fit your budget
Additional funding for Project PAL and Energy Assist