Tonasket schools earn PUD incentive

Submitted by sheilac on Wed, 12/16/2020 - 16:16


TONASKET – Before the Tonasket School District completed its capital levy HVAC upgrade, Maintenance and Grounds Supervisor Mike Larson found himself frequently repairing the system, costing hours of his time and tens of thousands of dollars each year.

Now, the school is not only saving money with a more energy efficient system, but they also just received an incentive check for $34,133.22 from the Okanogan County PUD. The PUD manages incentive programs through funding by the Bonneville Power Administration, a major source of its electricity.

The school district’s capital levy funding – approved by voters in 2018 – allowed for two phases of work in summer 2019 and 2020. Work from school staff and contractor MacDonald-Miller modernized the antiquated boiler and chiller systems for which parts were no longer available in both the elementary and middle/high school buildings.

Larson said the upgrades have not only saved on time and the electricity bill, but also on propane, by approximately 30-50 percent in the different buildings. And overall, the buildings’ temperatures can be maintained much easier, lending to a toastier environment this winter.

Superintendent Steve McCullough expressed his appreciation to the Tonasket community for their support of these facility upgrades through the capital levy. “This support has helped to extend the useful life of our buildings and protect the investment the community made in our schools.”

The incentive money will be put back into other efficiency upgrades, such as LED lighting in the gym.

The PUD has multiple energy efficiency incentives for residential, commercial and other types of customers. Learn more on the PUD Energy Efficiency Incentives Page.

Maintenance and Grounds Supervisor Mike Larson (left) and Tonasket School District Superintendent Steve McCullough (right) hold a check delivered by PUD Energy Services Coordinator Kim Johnson (center). Below, out with the old and in with the new chillers at the elementary school.