Community organizations in Emerald People’s Utility District service area have an opportunity to reduce their electric bills and support renewable energy through a $40,000 grant. “This is a win-win for our communities,” said Kevin Parrish, EPUD board president.

“Our GREEN Grant Program dedicates funds to local organizations interested in renewable energy projects,” he said. “These projects help groups save money on electricity costs, which in turn, frees up funds that could be used to provide additional community services.”

Grant funding comes directly from customers enrolled in Emerald PUD’s GREEN program. “We appreciate their financial commitment to renewable energy. They voluntarily choose to pay an additional amount on the kWHs used each month. On average, customers are dedicating $5 to $10 per month to do more for the environment and support renewable community projects,” Parrish said.

Another benefit of being GREEN is that every year, the average residential participant avoids releasing more than 3,000 pounds of greenhouse gas (CO2) into the air and the pollution from driving the average car more than 3,300 miles in a year.

Interested organizations can apply for the GREEN grant online. The deadline is March 15, 2017. GREEN participants will vote on which project to fund.

To be eligible for this grant, an organization must be an Emerald PUD customer-owner and a non-profit organization, academic institution or a public institution. Previous winners include Creswell Food Bank, Pleasant Hill School District and Lost Valley Education and Event Center.

“This is a big deal,” said Susan Blachnik of Creswell Food Bank. “People in the nonprofit world know the most difficult fundraising is for operating expenses and electricity is one of those fixed costs. You do the GREEN grant application once and then you reap the benefits for 20 years or more.”

“Emerald PUD has a long-standing commitment to our communities and to renewable energy,” Parrish said. “We have supported solar electric installations on our building and in several high schools we serve. We also have supported wind power and even biomethane energy production with the Short Mountain Methane Power Plant.

“I am enrolled in Emerald’s GREEN and Sharing Sun community solar programs because I see their long-term value,” he said.

For more information, contact Rob Currier at 541-744-7402 or rob@nullepud.org.