Submitted by Lewis County Public Utility District
The Centralia Coal Transition Grants Weatherization Board (Weatherization Board) has announced a grant award to the Lewis County Public Utility District (PUD). The weatherization grant award totals $1.46 million with payments of $200,000 to be made in 2022 and $630,000 in 2023 and 2024 to support low-income ductless heat pumps and weatherization upgrades, school energy efficiency improvements and community-based non-profit energy efficiency measures.
“The new grant funding provided by TransAlta’s investment to the Weatherization Board will allow us to continue our low-income programs through 2024. The funds will help us to make meaningful impact to a large number of low-income households with energy efficiency measures, helping to reduce their energy costs and improve overall quality of life for many years to come,” said Jacob Henry, Business Services Manager for Lewis County Public Utility District. “The new grant funding provided by the Weatherization Board will allow us to continue working with schools and community-based non-profit organizations to help improve their facilities efficiency and turning energy cost savings into additional services provided into the community.”
The PUD is now accepting new low-income grant applications for residential energy efficiency improvements. Grant funding can include no-cost or low-cost assistance for ductless heat pumps and insulation, and increased rebates for windows and patio doors.
“The board recognizes the value in the services provided by the PUD as they are leveraging the funding board dollars with other incentives and covering more community members,” said Lori Schmitt, funding board member. “This most recent grant will target 160 or more low-income ductless heat pumps and at least 50 weatherization projects through 2024 and, target as many as 10 grant awards per year to community-based non-profit organizations throughout Lewis County for energy efficiency improvements in their facilities.”
The PUD is also accepting new applications from local non-profit organizations and school districts to identify and potentially fund improvements that will increase the efficiency of their facilities.
“We are excited to help people improve the energy efficiency of their homes,” said Alicia Harmanson, Energy Services Coordinator. “This funding program has already improved the lives of so many Lewis County Residents including those who have had their homes updated and the contractors who have done the work. If you or someone you know may qualify for this great program, give us a call.”
For information on the grant program, and whether you may qualify for incentives, please contact the PUD’s energy services department at 360.345.1493 or via email.
About Lewis County Public Utility District
Lewis County PUD is a community-owned, locally governed utility providing power services and telecommunications infrastructure to approximately 33,000 customers throughout most of Lewis County and adjacent communities. The District maintains an Energy Services department that offers customers a variety of residential, commercial, and industrial energy efficiency programs, including free energy audits, which help customers understand their energy usage, and what options they may be able to implement to reduce that usage.
About Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards
The Weatherization Board was formed because of the 2011 agreement between TransAlta and the state of Washington to transition the Centralia plant away from coal-fired operations with one unit shutting down in December 2020 and the second unit in December 2025. The mission of the Weatherization Board is to provide funding of projects to improve energy efficiency and weatherization within Lewis County and South Thurston County.
Annual payments for the funding boards began in 2012 with the last payment due December 31, 2023. The opportunity to start flowing dollars into projects became effective on December 31, 2015.
Weatherization Board ($10M): Established to fund energy efficiency and weatherization for the residents, employees, businesses, non-profit organizations and local governments within Lewis County and South Thurston County; up to $1 million shall be allocated to fund residential energy efficiency and weatherization measures for low-income and moderate-income residents of Lewis County and South Thurston County.
Economic & Community Development Board ($20M): Established to fund education, retraining, economic development, and community enhancement; at least $5M shall be allocated to fund education, retraining and economic development specifically targeting the needs of workers displaced from the Centralia facility.
Energy Technology Board ($25M): Established to fund energy technologies with the potential to create environmental benefits to the state of Washington.