PUD considers ending Conservation Loan Program

Participation in program on the decline

okpud_logoOKANOGAN – The Okanogan County PUD is considering discontinuing its Conservation Loan program for customers after 23 years.

The PUD board and staff discussed the program at an Aug. 26 meeting, citing low participation numbers in recent years as one reason to end the program. The 55 loans still outstanding or any other applications in process would continue, but the PUD resolution proposes that no new loans be accepted after Sept. 30, 2019.

Don Coppock, Director of Finance and Accounting, said the program has served customers well in the past, but the program would need to be revised and the PUD would look into partnering with a financial institution if the program was brought back.

The board will consider the resolution a second time before possible approval at the Sept. 9 meeting.

The loans helped customers fund energy saving projects, such as windows, doors, insulation or HVAC.

In other business, the board:

  • Congratulated Foreman Micah Somes on 15 years with the district. Somes graduated from line construction school in April 2001 and worked for Avista while attending JATC apprentice school. He joined the PUD in 2004 as a lineman apprentice in Okanogan, and passed his journeyman lineman exam in September 2005. He worked on the crew as a journeyman lineman until July 2018, when he became the 300 Crew Foreman.
  • Heard updates on a few projects from Operations Manager Randy Bird. Osmose crews started pole testing this week. Underground work is in process in the Crumbacher area. Crews are working on a new circuit to be fed out of the new Nespelem Valley Electric Chicken Creek substation, taking load off one of the Brewster circuits. The district sold one of its surplus vehicles to Fire District No. 9. A small fire in the furnace at the Omak office forced the Halon fire system to discharge on Thursday, leading to the office’s closure; the office was cleared and re-opened the next day.
  • Approved Change Order No. 6, not to exceed $20,000, for Max J. Kuney Company to continue advancing permitting of the Enloe Dam right bank dewatering. Staff expects to bring a not-to-exceed price for the full dewatering project on Sept. 9.