OPALCO receives $24,495 in Enron settlement funds

Orcas Power & Light Cooperative has received $24,495 from the state Attorney General's Office as a part of a $9 million settlement reached with Enron in 2005.

The funds are targeted for programs that benefit customers who were gouged by the manufactured energy crisis of 2000-01, the Attorney General's Office said. Allocations are based on the number of customers each utility serves.

Utilities are mandated to use the money to support energy assistance programs for low-income households and/or weatherization programs for low-income households to help reduce heating expenses.

OPALCO plans to use the settlement funds to support Project PAL, the energy assistance program that gives co-op members a hand up with their heating bills when times are tough; and to support a new weatherization program that will launch in early spring 2010. Stay tuned for more information about the weatherization program.

Co-op members in need of help with their electric bills this heating season may apply to Project PAL by picking up an application at an OPALCO office, or by downloading an application from

OPALCO is a member-owned cooperative electrical utility serving more than 11,000 members on 20 islands in San Juan County. OPALCO provides electricity that is 95 percent greenhouse-gas free and is predominately generated by hydro-electric plants. OPALCO was founded in 1937 to bring electricity to rural islanders.

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