OPALCO board passes 2024 budget and rates

Submitted by Orcas Power and Light Cooperative

The 2024 OPALCO annual budget was approved at the Nov. 16 board meeting including a six percent rate increase for all members. This works out to an increase of approximately $10/month for the average San Juan County residence. The budget forecasts six percent rate increases for each of the next five years to keep up with inflation, the rising costs of power and labor, and to manage the Co-op’s equity position. The Co-op uses equity to borrow federal funds to build essential capital projects, like the multiple submarine cable replacements that are scheduled over the next 10-20 years.

OPALCO continues to leverage grant funds and the Bonneville Power Administration rebate program to encourage members to make their homes and businesses more energy efficient and help reduce their total energy spending. OPALCO’s on-bill financing program, Switch It Up, gives members an opportunity start efficiency projects now and pay for them later. Members in good standing can get projects such as weatherization, solar & battery projects or upgrades to heating systems installed with no money down and two percent interest over ten years. Members can finance up to $100k on their bill. There are also residential and commercial rebates available to put money back in your pocket!

The budget also includes increased support for energy assistance to households who struggle to pay their power bills. There are two programs that members can apply to for bill assistance: Project Pal, which is a grant once each year during the heating season; and Energy Assist, which provides a bill credit every month based on household size. Apply for energy assistance online at www.opalco.com.

For the full 2023 budget report, visit the Document Library on OPALCO’s website at www.opalco.com.

Orcas Power and Light Cooperative is our member-owned cooperative electric utility, serving more than 11,000 members on 20 islands in San Juan County. OPALCO provides electricity that is 95% greenhouse-gas free and is generated predominantly by hydroelectric plants. OPALCO was founded in 1937. Follow OPALCO @OrcasPower on Facebook and Twitter.