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TID supports energy efficiency with rebate programs
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In the interests of making Turlock a bit more energy efficient, the Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors approved several new rebate programs last week which look to entice consumers to install solar attic fans, radiant barriers and PC power management software.

The programs are intended to help the District meet an energy efficiency goal of 13,285 megawatt hours of energy efficiency savings in 2010 — .65 percent of total TID MWh load.

“We do still have a gap to close and new programs and new marketing will help us close that gap,” said Nancy Folly, TID Consumer Programs Division manager.

Last year, every dollar spent on energy efficiency within the District resulted in $3.61 in energy savings.

The District will look to continue existing programs such as rebates for buying Energy Star refrigerators, installing house fans, planting shade trees, and using compact florescent light bulbs while adding a few new rebates.

Consumers who opt to install solar powered attic fans — which are mounted on rooftops to circulate hot air out of attics — will see a $100 rebate. Radiant barriers, installed to keep heat out of attics in the first place, will be rebated at a cost of 10 cents per square foot.

 “It’s a balancing act because we don’t want to pay for someone’s entire upgrade but we want to provide enough of an incentive to get them thinking about energy efficiency,” Folly said.

An update to the “Living Green” rebate program for new home construction will offer builders $500 per home built which exceeds the 2008 Title 24 efficiency code requirements by 15 percent.

Commercial TID customers will also see new rebates, including a more codified, technology-based lighting upgrade rebate. A Network PC Management Software rebate will offer $10 per computer to install energy saving software which powers down computers when not in use.

The District is also investigating other new programs for possible future implementation, including rebates to upgrade agricultural pumps, software to turn down the lighting on vending machines during periods of non-operation, and home weatherization assistance.

TID customers may even receive monthly breakdowns on their energy usage through a program that sends out comparison data allowing residents to compare their energy usage to similar neighbors. An associated online portal would let customers see hour-by-hour breakdowns of energy usage.

TID will also use some of their energy efficiency funds on a pilot program to install “Ice Bear” units on large commercial air conditioning units. The Ice Bears use cheap energy at night to make ice, which is then used to cool buildings when energy costs — and TID system loads — are at their peaks in the hottest parts of the day.

The pilot program will see the District install no more than 10 units at a cost not to exceed $225,000, capable of storing an effective 76 kW of energy. Other utilities have already used Ice Bear units successfully, including Southern California Public Power Authority, who will install 52 MW of Ice Bear units this year.

“That’s an LM6000 turbine,” said TID General Manager Larry Weis.

To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.