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OTEC launches new incentive program​

Baker City, Oregon (OTEC) — Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative announces the launch of a new incentive program for its members to upgrade their wood-burning devices with more efficient heating options.

The cooperative is offering two separate rebates—one for members wanting to retain their woodstoves and one for those wanting to remove their woodstove.

Susie Snyder, OTEC’s supervisor of energy programs, said the incentive program is a win for members, the local community and the cooperative.

“We know there are areas on our system that are struggling to meet EPA’s air quality standards, and this new program gives a little more reason to invest in a new heating system.”

Snyder said members will receive a $650 if they add an electric heat pump and retain their woodstove and $800 if the woodstove is replaced with an electric heat pump.  If the heat pump is purchased from a local vendor, there’s an additional $50 rebate on top of that.

“Mini-split heat pumps are a very efficient form of electric heat for our members that can help keep costs down while improving the air quality particularly on the low air quality days,” Snyder said.

Members interested in more information can contact their local OTEC office for more information.

“This rebate won’t last forever,” Snyder said. “So, this is a good time for members who have been thinking about upgrading their heating systems to give us a call and let us see how we can help them.”

Snyder said there is an added incentive for members in Harney County. Members in that county can receive additional rebates from the county by upgrading their woodstove to a new certified woodstove, pellet stove or other Harney County-approved heating device.

“Harney County recently received a grant from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to combat wood smoke and help improve the county’s air quality,” Snyder said. “We are partnering with Harney County to get the word out about these different rebates by using bill stuffers.”

Harney County is offering 20 rebates with a maximum rebate of $750 offered per replacement device. Members in Harney County interested in more information can contact Howard Weathers at 541-573-6024.

About the cooperative

Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative (OTEC) is a not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperative that serves over 31,000 homes and businesses in four counties in Eastern Oregon. Headquartered in Baker City, OTEC has district offices in Burns, John Day and La Grande.