news-PUD-appliance-pThe Okanogan County Public Utility District (PUD) is discontinuing its appliance rebate program at the end of August.

The purpose of the rebate program has been to encourage customers to buy Energy Star appliances and to provide an incentive to retailers to sell them, according to Don Coppock, the PUD’s director of finance and auditor. Over the past 12 years, the market has changed so that manufacturers are required to comply with Energy Star standards and many offer only these appliances, he said.

Rebate allowances come from the Bonneville Power Administration, which has been decreasing the amounts the PUD is allowed to provide to customers, said Coppock. “We would not be surprised if BPA completely phased out this incentive in the next few years,” he said. The rebate program began in 2000, although an earlier program provided rebates for water heaters. Last year the PUD’s Energy Services Department issued 179 rebates and another 65 to decommission refrigerators and freezers.

Energy Services also provides conservation loans and assistance with weatherization, which will continue. These programs will be reviewed for cost-effectiveness and applicability to the district’s customers, according to minutes of the commissioners’ meeting at which the rebates were discussed.

Energy Star appliances, including clothes washers, refrigerators, freezers and water heaters, can still be submitted for rebates, but they must be purchased by Aug. 31 and the necessary documentation turned in by Sept. 15. For more information, call (509) 422-3310.