Centralia Coal Transition Board Awards $1.46M Grant to Lewis County Public Utility District
Grant Supports Weatherization/Energy Efficiency upgrades for local families, schools, and non-profit organizations
Centralia, (August 31, 2022) The Centralia Coal Transition Grants Weatherization Board (“Weatherization Board”) is pleased to announce a grant award to the Lewis County Public Utility District (“District”). The weatherization grant award totals $1,460,000.00 which will be paid over a three-year period commencing in 2022. This is the fourth grant approved by the Weatherization Board to support local weatherization and energy efficiency services provided by the District to Lewis County families, schools, and non-profit organizations.
The Weatherization Board approved a $1.6M grant award to the District back in 2017 to supplement their energy efficiency programs and to leverage existing resources. Since the initial grant the board has approved an additional $2.2M to build on program opportunities and extend services to school districts and non-profit organizations in the community. Hundreds of low-income families have received a no-cost or low-cost ductless heat pump from the funding dollars, resulting in a more efficient way of heating their homes and a reduction in energy costs; non-profits and school districts have benefited from the grants with energy efficiency improvements and lower energy costs.
“The board recognizes the value in the services provided by the District as they are leveraging the funding board dollars with other incentives and covering more community members,” said Lori Schmitt, funding board member. “This most recent grant will target 160 or more low-income ductless heat pumps and at least 50 weatherization projects through 2024 and, target as many as 10 grant awards per year to community based non-profit organizations throughout Lewis County for energy efficiency improvements in their facilities.”
The Weatherization Board was formed as a result of the 2011 Agreement between TransAlta and the state of Washington to transition the Centralia plant away from coal-fired operations with one unit shutting down in December 2020 and the second unit in December 2025. The Mission of the Weatherization Board is to provide funding of projects to improve energy efficiency and weatherization within Lewis County and South Thurston County.
“The funding provided by the Weatherization Board will allow us to continue providing meaningful impact in our community by reducing energy burden for vulnerable populations. Additionally, the award means we can continue to help local non-profit organization and school districts improve the efficiency of their facilities, resulting in improved services to the community,” said Jacob Henry, Business Services Manager. “The partnership with the Weatherization Board has provided countless positive impacts on our community, and we are excited to continue those successes through 2024.
Lewis County PUD is a community-owned, locally governed utility providing power services and telecommunications infrastructure to approximately 33,000 customers throughout most of Lewis County and adjacent communities. The District maintains an Energy Services department that offers customers a variety of residential, commercial, and industrial energy efficiency programs, including free energy audits, which help customers understand their energy usage, and what options they may be able to implement to reduce that usage.
Overview of the Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards:
TransAlta’s commitment to invest $55M into the funding boards will be satisfied in December 2023.
Weatherization Board ($10M; annual payment $833,333.33): established to fund energy efficiency and weatherization for the residents, employees, businesses, non-profit organizations and local governments within Lewis County and South Thurston County; up to $1 million shall be allocated to fund residential energy efficiency and weatherization measures for low-income and moderate-income residents of Lewis County and South Thurston County.
Economic & Community Development Board ($20M; annual payment $1,666,666.67): established to fund education, retraining, economic development, and community enhancement; at least $5M shall be allocated to fund education, retraining and economic development specifically targeting the needs of workers displaced from the Centralia facility;
Energy Technology Board ($25M; annual payment $2,083,333.33): established to fund energy technologies with the potential to create environmental benefits to the state of Washington.
For more information on the Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards visit: http://cctgrants.com
For information on the PUD’s grant program, and whether you may qualify for incentives, please contact the District’s energy services department at (360) 345-1493, or firstname.lastname@example.org