FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Drake Rice, OMPA Director of Member Services, 405/340-5047
Residential Customers To Receive OCP Brochure
All residential customers in the 38 member cities served by the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA) will be receiving a brochure on the Authority’s Oklahoma Comfort Program (OCP) from their municipally-owned electric utilities. 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.
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 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.
When considered with other current incentives for GHP installations, GHP systems have never been so attractive. First, OCP provides residential customers with rebates of up to $1,000 per ton for qualifying GHP installations, below 5.5 tons. For systems 5.5 tons or larger, special approval is required. Second, in participating cities, this rebate will be 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.
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 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.
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).
As part of this program, the OMPA is offering FREE energy audits to residential customers served by municipal electric systems in any of its member cities. A business reply card is included in the brochure along with information on OCP. To schedule the FREE residential energy audit, the customer fills out the information on the card and drops it in the mail. Upon receiving the request, the homeowner will be contacted to schedule the audit. This comprehensive free energy audit, which includes a blower door test, would normally cost the homeowner approximately $350 plus travel expenses.
An energy audit takes approximately two hours of the homeowner’s time. The auditor measures the home, doors and windows and inputs this information into the energy audit software.
Also included in the audit is a check of the ceiling insulation, the condition of the windows and the water heater temperature. An estimate of the energy efficiency of the old heating and air conditioning system is determined to compare the savings that could be achieved with the installation of a ground source heat pump.
All of this information and more goes into the audit software to determine what steps the homeowner needs to take to improve the efficiency of the home, which will save money in electricity costs.
During the audit, a blower door test is performed to find air leaks in the home. While the test is being performed, customers can actually feel the air leaks they have under window seals, door seals, outlets and other areas of the home.
When the test is completed, customers are provided with a detailed report that gives them an Estimated Natural Infiltration Rate (ENIR). The ENIR lets customers know how tight or loose their home actually is.
Those interested in OCP and a FREE energy audit should take advantage of the program now because in less than a year it will no longer be available.
For more information on OCP, visit www.ompa.com/programs/oklahoma-comfort/.