Ponca City Presents Smith Bits With $115,200 In Rebate Checks

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Drake Rice, Director of Member Services, 405/340-5047

Ponca City Presents Smith Bits With $115,200 In Rebate Checks

On May 17th, Ponca City Mayor Homer Nicholson and Ponca City General Manager of Electric Utilities Phillip Johnston  presented Smith Bits Maintenance & Facilities Manager Dennis Bond with a rebate check in the amount of $64,000.00 for the installation of approximately 64 tons of ground source heat pumps at the plant located at 1405 North Waverly in Ponca City on behalf of the city and Ponca City Energy, and the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA).  The rebate check was made available because of the city’s and Ponca City Energy’s participation in OMPA’s Oklahoma Comfort Program (OCP.). 

Butch Bucher, the former Smith Bits Maintenance Coordinator who assisted with the implementation of the project, also was there for the presentation.  Others attending the presentation included Ponca City City Manager Craig Stephenson, Ponca City Development Authority Director of Business Expansion and Retention Laurence Beliel, Ponca City Development Authority Board of Trustees Vice Chair Jeffrey Meyers, OMPA General Manager Cindy L. Holman, OMPA Energy Services Engineer Tom Willis, and OMPA Member Services Specialist Jennifer Rogers.  Mayor Nicholson also serves on the OMPA Board of Directors.                      

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

OCP provides commercial and residential customers with rebates of $1,000 per ton for qualifying GHP installations. For systems 5.5 tons or larger, special approval is required.  In participating cities like Ponca City, this rebate will be in addition to the current OMPA WISE Rebate of $800 per ton for qualifying GHP installations.  All OCP projects, even those smaller than 5.5 tons, must be submitted for State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) approval before any work commences at the site.  Requests for SHPO review must be provided to OMPA through member city personnel. OMPA will then forward the request to the State Energy Office (SEO).

Smith Bits, a Schlumberger Company, received an additional rebate check in the amount of $51,200.00 from OMPA’s WISE Rebate Program through the City of Ponca City and Ponca City Energy for the installation of the ground source heat pumps.  The objective of this rebate program is to assist participating member cities in encouraging customers to purchase and install energy-efficient air conditioners and electric heat pumps.

Commercial and residential 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 30-50 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 factors 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.

Ponca City Energy offers these programs to electric customers served by Ponca City Energy.  If you have questions about these programs or would like additional information, please contact Phillip Johnston at Ponca City Energy, 767-0405.

OMPA is a state governmental agency created by the legislature to serve cities and towns that own and operate their electrical distribution systems and is governed by the members.  The Authority presently serves 38 municipally-owned electric systems in Oklahoma.