Island Way Workshops | OPALCO wants you to be prepared

Submitted by Orcas Power and Light Cooperative.

We are on the cusp of a major energy shift. Weather conditions are reaching both extremes due to climate change; legislative mandates to phase out fossil fuels require the development of new renewable resources; the race to electrify heating and transportation and the need for new infrastructure is changing the landscape of the electricity industry and will impact our supply options and the cost of electricity.

The goal of the Island Way campaign is to help co-op members prepare now for this energy future so that homes and businesses can use electricity wisely and keep costs affordable. This second year of Island Way workshops is focused on things you can DO to prepare and actions you can take to make a difference in the community and region.

The following workshops are scheduled for the first semester:

February 10 at 5 p.m.: Acting against climate change

March 22 @ 5 p.m.: Get the most out of your ductless heat pump

April 6 at 5 p.m.: Quickly start your Switch It Up project

May 11 at 5 p.m.: How is climate change affecting my bill?

June 8 at 3 p.m.: Live Electric Vehicle Jamboree at the County Fairgrounds

During each workshop, members in attendance will be entered into a raffle for cool door prizes (spoiler alert: fun and useful Island Way loot) – and winners will be announced at the end of each session. To register for an Island Way workshop, email [email protected] in advance.

While the workshops will share key information with members, the monthly Energy Roundtable events on Zoom will provide members with a discussion forum to share ideas, ask questions and form peer-to-peer action groups. Roundtables will be held on the fourth Thursday of each month. Email [email protected] to register for a session – and let us know of any suggested agenda items by the Monday before each meeting date.

The Island Way campaign includes tools and resources to help members get a head start in preparing their homes and businesses for a sustainable and affordable energy future:

Switch to electricity for heating and transport (discounts, financing)

Use OPALCO’s Invoice Financing Program to improve efficiency (Switch it Up)

Invest in the next solar community project to offset energy consumption

Do a home energy audit – $25 – register at

· Monitor your energy consumption on Smarthub

· Influencing county and state elected officials on policy and funding solutions

Install EV chargers at local businesses to expand available infrastructure

Now is a good time to be curious about where you can improve your home and business efficiency, what steps you can take to make your energy future more affordable, what investments make sense for your family or business. and where you are motivated to step up and contribute to the sustainability and resilience of our island communities.

About Robert Pierson

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