Co-op has Banner Year for Energy Efficiency

Flathead Electric Co-op paid its members and program partners over $2.2 million for energy efficiency efforts in 2016. According to Energy and Member Services Director Ross Holter, that amount is the highest since 2011 for the Co-op, and it exceeded expectations.

“We know members have had a tough couple of months of high heating bills because of the extreme winter we’ve experienced, so it’s nice to know that many of them had lower bills as a result of our many efficiency programs.” Holter said. “Any energy savings we achieve is energy that doesn’t have to be purchased, which benefits us all.”

In the residential sector, which encompasses efficiency measures such as replacing heating systems, appliances, lights, windows, and adding insulation, incentives totaled over $700,000. In the commercial category, which primarily consists of lighting and custom projects with the Co-op’s commercial and industrial members, the total incentives were just shy of $1 million. Other efficiency efforts in the areas of agriculture and utility system improvements, such as converting old inefficient street lighting to new LED’s, brought the total up to $2,224,821.30, with the associated energy savings totaling 11,686,000 kilowatt hours.

In 2009, Flathead Electric Co-op’s board of directors and management decided to take energy efficiency to a higher level with the introduction of new programs to help members and the Cooperative as a whole save more electricity. Since its inception, Flathead Electric’s efficiency programs have saved over 20.74 megawatt hours, which is enough energy to power nearly 20,000 homes for a year. These programs are an integral part of meeting energy needs into the future.

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), the Co-op’s wholesale power supplier, supports and encourages Flathead Electric’s energy efficiency efforts with reimbursements for the implementation of qualified energy efficiency measures for members. Additionally, Flathead Electric offers members a 3% fixed-rate loan to achieve higher efficiency in their homes.

To find out more about residential and commercial energy efficiency programs, members can visit Save Money and Energy or contact Flathead Electric Co-op’s Energy Services Department at 406-751-1875.