Mountain Parks Electric rebates $21,000 through Green Power Program |

Mountain Parks Electric rebates $21,000 through Green Power Program

Mountain Parks Electric members Lauren and Matt Arcay pose in front of their new photovoltaic system in Rand, CO.
Courtesy Photo |

Mountain Parks Electric, Inc. announced last week that it rebated more than $20,000 to its ratepayers last year through the company’s Green Power Program. The program incentivizes customers in the area to reduce their environmental impact by financially assisting members who generate their electricity by installing renewable energy systems.

The Green Power Program began in 1999, with Mountain Parks Electric (MPE) purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs) on behalf of its customers who wanted to switch to non-pollutant sources of energy. In 2011 MPE decided to change the direction of the program, investing in more localized projects.

“We had a growing number of our members wanting to purchase the renewable energy credits, and that were interested in supporting renewable energy,” said Rob Taylor, director of external affairs and key accounts for MPE. “The RECs are purchased domestically, but they can be used anywhere. We decided to keep that money local, and create a rebate program that incentivizes people that are installing local, renewable energy projects, whether it’s a home or a business.”

The project has grown steadily since its inception. Since 2011 more than $140,000 has been awarded to MPE members through the initiative, and 2017 was the biggest year yet. The $20,974 rebated for 2017 represents a 31 percent increase from the $14,490 rebated in 2016.

Mountain Parks Electric members fund the program via voluntary additions to their monthly bills, with contributions ranging from 50 cents to $100 a month. The number of contributors also continues to grow. Since 2012 the number of monthly contributors has grown from 886 to 1,159 in 2017. In that same timeframe there has also been a more than $10,000 increase in yearly contributions, from $20,434 in 2012 to $30,814 in 2017.

“Providing these rebates is just one way that MPE is greening up the local power supply,” said Tom Sifers, general manager for MPE. “We also purchase the renewable power generated by Granby Dam and from the town of Grand Lake’s micro-hydro recovery system.”

Grand Lake’s 7-kilowatt micro-hydro recovery system was the first hydropower project assisted through the Green Power Program in 2016, generating 40,000-55,000 kilowatt hours a year. The program also helped to fund electric vehicle charging stations in Winter Park, Kremmling and Grand Lake.

Currently MPE’s overall power supply is 30 percent renewable, according to the organization.

“Mountain Parks Electric is very proud of this program,” said Taylor. “We’ve very proud to support our members as they pursue renewable energy projects, and we’re glad to see more of our local power supply going in that direction. We’re proud that all of these things are increasing our percentage of renewable power supply.”

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