The Cooperative Advantage – February 2021 CCL CEO Article
By Jim Herron, MVEA CEO
There is a certain level of satisfaction that comes from finding a good deal on a product or service. It reminds me of the old saying “a penny saved, is a penny earned” and the concept of making those saved pennies last longer so they can add up to big savings over time. Now, I may be biased due to my tenure at Mountain View Electric Association, but do you know what is even better than saving money? Saving energy at the same time.
For many years, MVEA has offered energy efficiency rebates to members through a program made possible through a partnership with our wholesale power supplier, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. Energy efficiency is an important concept to energy producers and end users alike as it refers to the principle of making the power on the grid go further and last longer while promoting the smart use of fuels and conservation of resources. Last year, the rebate program was expanded to include “beneficial electrification” rebates for electric outdoor power equipment. This year there are additional product incentives for electric vehicle charging stations, power-washers, and electric bicycles.
What is “beneficial electrification?” It is an expansion on the concept of energy efficiency, and a term you will see much more frequently, that includes the replacement of direct fossil fuel use (e.g., propane, natural gas, gasoline) with electricity in a way that reduces overall emissions, energy costs, AND benefits the end user (in this case, electric co-op members). Rapidly evolving innovations in energy technologies are creating new ways to use electricity. Beneficial electrification examples include: electric vehicles, water heaters, appliances (large and small), and outdoor power equipment. Beneficial electrification also includes the efficient use of renewable energy. Renewable energy, paired with beneficial electrification practices, can address emissions and environmental concerns. In Colorado, due to increased carbon-emissions regulatory demands by our state legislature, this concept is very important because it extends the “reach” of renewable energy production — allowing us to do more with less.
While there is an initial investment when upgrading to energy-efficient products that support beneficial electrification practices, the rebate program is a great opportunity for MVEA members to offset the cost of making the switch. Plus, the upgrades help save money and energy over time. A good example of a small change that can make a big difference is the LED bulb.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “Residential LEDs use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting. Widespread use of LED lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the United States. By 2027, widespread use of LEDs could save about 348 TWh (terawatt-hour) (compared to no LED use) of electricity: This is the equivalent annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants and a total savings of more than $30 billion at today’s electricity prices.”
MVEA’s LED bulb rebate is currently 50% of the bulb cost (capped at $8 per bulb, 500 lumens or greater, up to 50 bulbs per MVEA account per year). Now, that is an easy energy efficiency upgrade that can make a big impact!
To learn more about MVEA’s rebate program, please visit our Rebates page. From appliances to LED bulbs, and electric mowers to electric vehicle charging equipment, there is a rebate to fit the needs of nearly every member who wants to save money and energy.
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