$46M Available for Co-op Member Projects
In case you haven’t heard the news, OPALCO has $46M in UDSA Rural Energy Savings dollars available for co-op members to spend on energy efficiency updates – or new construction – to future proof their homes and businesses. The funds are available through the Switch it Up! program, financing projects on members’ power bills for up to ten years at 2%. With good credit at OPALCO (pay your bill on time?), members can finance up to $100,000 per membership.
There are big changes coming in the power industry as we leave fossil fuels behind and rely on electricity to combat climate change. With decarbonization there are great benefits: clean air and water – and also some challenges as the region races to build renewable resources. The cost to buy power from the mainland is going up and short-term supply issues could cause power outages during the transition.
A big part of OPALCO’s solution is to help members to future proof their homes and businesses to use electricity wisely. Switch it Up offers financing on a wide range of projects from heating systems, weatherization, applicances, solar installations, fiber and EV chargers. The Switch it Up process is simple:
- Check out the eligible measures at opalco.com/switchitup
- Get a contractor bid for your project/s
- Fill out the online application
OPALCO will send you a conservation agreement that details how much your project will cost as a line item on your bill each month and over the term. Once you sign that agreement, your contractor can start the project – no money down – and OPALCO pays the contractor directly.
For businesses, OPALCO has a grant to provide comprehensive energy efficiency audits to commercial accounts in partnership with Sustainable Connections. Through this program, businesses can figure out where the biggest bang for their buck is in efficiency upgrades, access USDA REAP grant funding to help pay for their projects and use Switch it Up to finance the cost. Stay tuned for workshop dates on commercial energy audits or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OPALCO has ten years to get this $46M working to improve lives and sustainability in our island communities. If members don’t take advantage of these USDA funds, they will just go away. What projects are you considering?