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OPALCO Awarded $5.8M to Fund Member Energy Efficiency Projects!

Switch it Up! puts thousands back in members’ pockets

OPALCO is now offering on-bill financing for members who want to Switch it Up! and install super-efficient ductless heat pumps, heat pump water heaters and electric vehicle chargers. These upgrades can cut energy spending in half for heating and transportation, compared to fossil fuels (propane, gasoline), saving thousands of dollars over the life of the project while reducing carbon emissions in our sensitive environment.

With no money down, members can make major improvements to their home or business that will create more comfort year-round and increase property value.  In most cases, a member’s overall energy spending will be less each month – even while making finance payments on their power bill. Switch it Up! projects include:

  1. Ductless Heat Pumps – Finance up to $15,000 for up to 10 years
  2. Heat Pump Water Heater – Finance up to $3,500 for up to 5 years
  3. EV Charger – Finance up to $2,500 for up to 3 years

Savings will vary by project but members who Switch it Up! from fossil fuels will see the greatest results. A ductless heat pump can cut heating bill spending in half and save thousands over the life of the project. Heat pump water heaters use 60% less energy and save an average of $300 per year – or nearly $4,000 over a typical life span (13 years).

While EV chargers are the smallest measure in this program, switching from a gas-powered vehicle to electric brings some of the greatest savings. Driving a gas-powered car makes up 53% of an average San Juan County resident’s energy use. A typical island driver will save at least $1,000 each year in fuel and oil changes – not to mention avoided maintenance and repair costs. With a Level 2 EV Charger, it takes 4-6 hours to completely charge an electric car, which costs about $5.60 (depending on your car’s range). With typical ranges of 120-230 miles per charge – how often would you have to charge? Calculate your estimated savings: Electric Vehicles produce ~200x less greenhouse gases per mile vs a fossil-fuel powered car. EVs make a big difference for clean air and water.

Co-op members qualify based on their credit history with OPALCO (do you pay your bill on time?). You can Switch it Up! no matter what your current heating sources are: propane, electric baseboard, forced air, wood or oil, etc. Not sure how well it will work for you or have a unique project? Contact us at

It’s easy to apply:

  1. Get a bid from a contractor. OPALCO has a list of contractors familiar with Switch it Up! online at
  2. Apply online.
  3. OPALCO reviews applications quickly and can have an approval letter to you in 10-15 days.
  4. With your approval letter in hand: sign and return the agreement – and then install your measure!
  5. Contractor bills OPALCO directly.
  6. OPALCO pays the contractor and sends member a conservation agreement that lays out the expected savings, finance charges and term.

Learn more, calculate your estimated Switch it Up! savings and apply online at

Funding for this project comes from the USDA’s Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP). The interest (2%) charged on financing agreements ensures that costs are born by the participants of this program, not the general membership. On-bill financing projects are available as long as RESP funds last.

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