By Megan Kramer, Performance Homes Consultant
Updated Utility Incentive Information: https://www.megan-kramer.com/blog-1/2019/6/19/are-you-leaving-money-on-the-table
Where do you ask is the nation’s cheapest, cleanest electricity? Central Washington of course – Chelan PUD boasts 97.13% of the fuel mix is from hydro. In addition, since the PUD operates and maintains its own damns, they are able to keep costs down. This is great for Chelan PUD clients, but at 2.7 cents per kilowatt hour it is hard to make the case that efficiency measures are cost effective. Of course, we know that the cost of our energy is not the only factor for building an efficient home or updating the one you have. Comfort, Heath and Safety are greatly improved through a retrofit or by building better homes. It is very hard to put a price on these things, but several medical journals have published articles attempting to quantify the health impacts of better buildings and ask anyone with cold feet how nice it is to get your floor insulated and air sealed.
Even with low utility rates, the folks at Chelan PUD have a thriving conservation program for residential, commercial and industrial clients. They can make the case for energy efficiency and they are willing to pay you to improve your existing home. They are also considering an incentive for new homes that meet efficiency criteria. Some people income qualify for some free upgrades through the local Community Action Agency. In central Washington check with the Chelan-Douglas Community Action Council.
Puget Sound Energy is coming out with a new homes incentive in February of 2018. This mostly affects folks in Kittitas County in this region. They have a robust conservation program already and are adding to what they already offer by incentivizing new homes. The PSE new homes program in the works is modeling the incentive structure on the Built Green program. This program offers a guide for building with conservation in mind. They have a checklist and a point system that equates to a 1 - 5 star rating. It is pretty straight forward and similar to the LEED checklist. You can get points for including all stakeholders in a design eco-charrette during the design phase and the home must be verified by a Built Green verifier. Megan Kramer Consulting is planning to offer eco-charrette guidance and Built Green verification services by March of 2018!
Built Green Qualifying Credit Categories:
Built Green Team
Site and Water
Health and Indoor Air Quality
Operation, Maintenance & Homeowner Education