With last winter’s storms and high bills still fresh in the minds of many at Emerald People’s Utility District, the board of directors unanimously voted Tuesday to set aside another $100,000 for energy efficiency support. The funds will be used to help customers avoid high bills this winter season.

“These funds are available to homeowners and renters, regardless of income. We want to provide options to our customers so they can take action to stay warm and avoid the shock of high winter electric bills,” said Scott Coe, Emerald PUD general manager.

Customer incentives include cash rebates and/or interest-free financing. Low-income customer-owners may receive increased incentives to improve their home’s efficiency. “These funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis,” he said.

EPUD customer Steve Apker can speak to the value of these rebates. In the summer of 2016 he installed new windows and a ductless heat pump. During last year’s bitterly cold winter, his electric bills were cut in half.

“When I saw the savings on my electric bill, I knew I had made a really good decision,” Apker said. “Now I can keep warm in the winter, cool in the summer and not worry about having to face scary high electric bills.”

This past January, the board approved $150,000 to help customers dealing with high winter bills. The $100,000 approved Nov. 14 is in addition to Emerald PUD’s normal financial investment in energy conservation. These funds underscore the utility’s long tradition of supporting energy efficiency programs for its customers.

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