Osage County Health Department Receive Rebate Checks Totaling $71,370

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Paul W. McAlexander, Pawhuska City Manager, 287-3576

Osage County Health Department Receive Rebate Checks Totaling $71,370
for Installing Geothermal
Heat Pump Systems

On August 20th, Pawhuska Mayor Roger Taylor and Palma Lough, Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA) Member Services Energy Services Specialist, presented Renee Wantland, Administrative Programs Officer, and Heather Barkley, Administrative Assistant, Osage County Health Department with rebate checks in the amounts of $39,650 and $31,720 for the installation of geothermal heat pump systems in the health department building, 1115 15th Street, on behalf of the city and the OMPA Board of Directors.  The rebate checks were made available because of the city’s participation in OMPA’s Oklahoma Comfort Program (OCP) and OMPA’s WISE Rebate Program.  Paul W. McAlexander, Pawhuska City Manager, and Mark Chamberlain, Pawhuska Public Works Director, also attended the presentation on August 20th in City Hall.

OMPA’s OCP uses funds from the Stimulus State Energy Program (SSEP), as administered by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, to provide residential energy audits and rebates for Geothermal Heat Pump (GHP) systems in commercial and residential installations.  This program will officially end on August 31, 2012.  OMPA administers the project, with assistance from the Geothermal Resources Council.  ClimateMaster Inc., a large Oklahoma-based manufacturer of GHP equipment, provides in-kind contribution to the project in the form of staff time, training for the public and professionals involved in the installation of GHPs, program promotion and other benefits.

When considered with other current incentives for GHP installations, GHP systems have never been so attractive.  First, OCP will provide customers with rebates of $1,000 per ton for qualifying GHP installations.  Second, in participating cities like Pawhuska, this is in addition to the current OMPA WISE Rebate of $800 per ton for qualifying GHP installations.  And third, a Federal Tax Credit of 30 percent of the system cost (with no upper limit) is available to residential customers for qualifying GHP installations.  There are also tax credits in commercial applications.

Customers who install GHP systems benefit from lower heating and cooling costs.  According to the U.S. Department of Energy, GHP systems can save customers 30 to 50 percent off the costs of heating and cooling compared with older systems.  In addition, GHP systems help OMPA member cities lower their electricity peaks in the summer and add winter load (when electric energy is at its cheapest). Both of these improve the load factors of the member cities and lower the cities’ bills from OMPA, as well as lowering the Authority’s operational costs, which mitigate future rate increases.

OMPA is a state governmental agency created by the legislature to serve cities and towns that own and operate their electric distribution systems and is governed by the members.  The Authority presently serves 39 municipally owned electric systems in Oklahoma and is a non-appropriated state agency which is owned by the member cities it serves.