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IID initiates solar for Low Income Rate Payers helps air conditioning

Recently the Imperial Irrigation District board of directors voted on an important project relating to Energy Efficiency for its rate payers and homeowners.

It’s directors approved the summary of terms for an agreement with Citizens Energy Corporation and Citizens Sunrise Transmission, LLC, directing staff to enter into negotiations for a 23-year power purchase agreement for 30 megawatts of solar energy to serve approximately 15,000 low-income qualified electric customers.

“The IID Board’s action, today, moves us forward in our goal to be able to provide our customers with an opportunity to support and benefit from clean, renewable, locally produced energy,” said Kevin Kelley, general manager. The new solar project would be located on 200 acres of district land, leased to Citizens, and connected to IID’s electric system. The district will use the energy purchased from the project to lower the energy bills of its qualified low-income ratepayers. The district will have the option to purchase, own and operate the project equipment at the end of the agreement.” see full report

This is a great step in helping reduce the energy consumption of all Imperial Valley rate payers in and around El Centro, Calexico, Imperial, Brawley, Holtville and County of Imperial.  The after effects of having this type of initiative is that low income rate payers may now be able to further afford their everyday energy needs. What this type of iniciative should include is the financing of HIGH efficiency air conditioners, heat pumps and ductless mini splits through the IID program in El Centro and include the following aspects:

  1. High efficiency SEER 18-21 air conditioning systems

  2. Installation HVAC Contractors in Imperial Valley or Coachella Valley that install to ACCA Quality Installation guidelines

  3. Attic Insulation to R-49 at a minimum

  4. Duct Testing and Sealing procedure in El Centro Coachella or Imperial Valley

  5. Higher energy upgrade rebates for Ductless Mini splits in IID’s territory

This would ensure that the rate payer’s in this case low income households are actually saving money and reducing their energy consumption NOT just subsidizing the energy consumption on a household that is simply “wasting energy” because it is not installed, sealed, and has an older energy hog air conditioner.

Louis Fuentes is President of Air Conditioning Guys in El Centro, Coachella, Imperial and San Diego metro. Board of Director of Air Conditioning Contractor’s of America (ACCA) and a long time energy efficiency expert.

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