FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Platte River Power Authority recently passed the $1 million mark in rebates paid to customers for upgrading to energy efficient air conditioners. Since the program began in 2002, Platte River has provided cash incentives to more than 4,300 residential and business electricity customers of the municipal utilities of its owner communities of Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland.
The rebates are part of Platte River's Cooling Rebate Program, one of the utility's measures created to offset some of the increased demand for electricity that has specifically occurred due to an increased use of air conditioning in the area. Based on the results of a survey Platte River conducted in September of last year, it is estimated that approximately 36,000 central air conditioners were installed in the area during the years 2000 through 2004. Only six percent of these air conditioners were replacements for older equipment, 94 percent were first-time installations.
"We're pleased to be able to offer a program that makes energy-saving equipment more affordable," said Jon Little, Cooling Rebate Program manager. "The program benefits all of our customers, not just those receiving a rebate, because we are purchasing reductions in electricity demand for less than it would cost us to provide the electricity to meet that demand. Also, beyond saving energy, many of these air conditioners run more quietly and use more environmentally friendly refrigerants." The Cooling Rebate Program is scheduled to continue through 2005, adds Little.
Another Platte River rebate program, the Electric Efficiency Program, which is geared toward commercial and industrial customers, has been just as successful since its inception also in 2002. To date, over $600,000 has been rebated to more than 60 companies. Electric Efficiency Program funding is provided to businesses that reduce their energy use by upgrading to more energy-efficient equipment.
"Most of the participants in our program are using our funding to retrofit their indoor lighting," explained Paul Davis, Electric Efficiency Program manager. "Newer lighting uses 30 to 60 percent less energy, looks better, and pays for itself in energy cost savings in a few years."
For both programs, rebates are available only through an application process. Cooling Rebate Program application forms, program rules and lists of eligible equipment are available form local cooling equipment dealers. Electric Efficiency Program rules and application forms are available by calling (970) 226-4000 or at www.prpa.org.