Okanogan County PUD commissioners have set Oct. 31 as the last day to accept applications for conservation loans.
At the Sept. 23 meeting, the board said they had received little or no feedback about ending the program. Although the resolution originally set Sept. 30 as the ending date, the board decided to give one more month to customers interested in pursuing a conservation loan.
The program allowed PUD customers to request a loan up to $10,000 for energy-saving projects around their homes, such as windows, doors, HVAC or insulation. The program began in 1996 and has seen a major decline in interest in recent years.
Commissioners said they would be open to rewrite the program and partner with a lending institution if there was enough need from customers to bring a similar program back.
The end of the conservation loan program does not affect any of the incentive programs through the PUD or Okanogan County Community Action Council.
In other business, the board:
- Authorized the general manager to execute Change Order No. 7 of the Max J. Kuney Company Design-Build Contract, in the amount not to exceed $431,317. Director of Regulatory and Environmental Affairs Jeri Timm said the scope of work for the Enloe Dam Phase 1 Services includes proceeding with planning, permitting, detailed design and preparation of construction cost estimates for the dam safety dewatering facilities construction. A Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) proposal is due to the district by Dec. 6, 2019, at the end of Phase 1. The board unanimously passed the motion.
- Heard an update on the generation department from Timm. She notified the Board that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license for Enloe Dam was terminated on Sept. 12, 2019. Timm reiterated that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a letter of clarification on June 12, 2019, that the Enloe Dam Right-of-Way will continue after the FERC license is terminated. She also summarized the exhaustive efforts the district has completed to ensure the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Dam Safety Division was prepared to oversee dam safety jurisdiction of Enloe Dam, as they had done prior to the FERC License.
- Heard from Matt Stevie, Environmental Coordinator, on the Washington State Disaster Resiliency Workgroup, where he is a representative for public utility districts. The workgroup was created by the 2019 Legislature and is tasked to review disaster resiliency activities and provide recommendations to the Legislature regarding whether or not Washington State should have an ongoing resiliency program.
- Heard an update about the Sunny Okanogan Community Solar project, which is beginning to gather interest among customers. Participants can buy units in the project, which could be as large as 74.4 kilowatts, and share the cost and benefits of solar, including an annual state incentive and credit on their power bill relative to their portion of the project’s production. More information has been posted on the district’s website and Facebook page. The project cannot move forward without customer participation.
- Authorized General Manager Steve Taylor to sign the amended contract with BPA to move from slice and block products to only a block product. This selection was made by staff long ago, but the final paperwork needed to be completed. The PUD will receive an average 45-megawatt block of power monthly (higher in higher-usage months and lower in lower-usage months).