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Energy supplier Tri-State is using federal funds to help members electrify

(Photo provided by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association) Duane Highely, CEO of the Westminster-based Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, speaks at a news conference announcing a program to help electric cooperative members pay to buy their homes and electrify companies. Will Toor, left, head of the Colorado Energy Office, and Gov. Jared Polis joined Tri-State for the announcement.

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association has joined the Colorado Clean Energy Fund to make affordable, low-interest loans available to Tri-State members to electrify their homes and businesses and make buildings more energy efficient.

Tri-State, a wholesale energy provider serving Colorado and three other states, said the $50 million it receives through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy Savings Program will be used to help rural residents purchase new insulation, windows and doors, water heaters and heat pumps. and chargers for electric vehicles.

The program includes home energy assessments and vetting of authorized contractors

The nonprofit Colorado Clean Energy Fund will administer the program. Households and businesses can make the loan payments through their monthly utility bills. The loan criteria assesses the consumer’s payment history.

“One of the historic roadblocks to helping consumers and businesses embrace energy efficiency and beneficial electrification is securing access to the capital needed to make meaningful improvements that lower their energy costs,” said Duane Highley, CEO of Tri-State in a statement.

Governor Jared Polis attended a press conference at the Capitol on May 3 with Highley and Paul Scharfenberger, the CEO of the Colorado Clean Energy Fund, to announce the program.

Polis said the program will allow Tri-State member rural cooperatives to modernize their heating and cooling systems to be more energy efficient without incurring the upfront costs.

The San Luis Valley Rural Electric Cooperative in Monte Vista, a Tri-State member, offered the first phase of the on-bill reimbursement program in March. The Sangre de Cristo Electric Association in Buena Vista launched the program last week.

Members of these associations can register online. Eleven other electricity associations are expected to offer the program later this year.

A plan submitted by Tri-State to Colorado regulators calls for the utility to get 50% of its power from clean energy sources by 2025 and 70% by 2030. Additionally, the company expects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Colorado by 2030. by 89% compared to 2005 levels.

Tri-State, based in Westminster, serves a total of 41 electric cooperatives, 16 of which are in Colorado. Other members are in Wyoming, New Mexico and Nebraska.