Omaha Public Power District cares greatly about our environment. Our mission is to provide affordable, reliable and environmentally sensitive energy services to our customers. And this weekend, we’ll be at Earth Day Omaha to provide information for customers about some of our offerings in these areas.
OPPD is sponsoring a booth at the celebration taking place Saturday, April 13, at Elmwood Park, 808 S. 60th St., Omaha. We’ll be there from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The free public event is geared toward all ages with outdoor activities, entertainment, food and more.
OPPD’s booth will feature:
- An interactive display about how energy is made
- Information on our new community solar program
Below are some of the many ways OPPD works to be a good steward to our environment, while keeping energy affordable and reliable for our customers.
OPPD continues to work toward our goal of having at least 50 percent of retail sales coming from renewables. The utility will move toward the 40 percent mark after the Sholes Wind Energy Center in northeast Nebraska comes online later this year.
The district launched its community solar program to residential customers April 1. When operational, it will allow participating customers to use clean, locally generated energy without the expense of installation and maintenance of rooftop solar panels. Instead, they can purchase shares of solar from a 5-megawatt facility located east of the city of Fort Calhoun, operated by NextEra Energy Resources, LLC.
OPPD customers who enroll pay a one-time, refundable enrollment fee. They choose the number of shares they want to purchase. Each share equals 100 kilowatt hours of energy at a cost of 79 cents a share per month. That cost is subject to annual changes, based upon the previous year’s market rate for solar. Learn more at oppd.com/communitysolarprogram.
OPPD encourages energy management through a variety of demand-side programs, including:
- HVAC Smart: Through HVAC Smart, customers may be eligible to receive rebates for upgrading their home’s cooling system to improve efficiency.
- Cool Smart: Customers who sign up for Cool Smart, receive a one-time sign up bill credit of $30, and annual bill credits of $20 thereafter. In exchange, they allow OPPD to attach a free outdoor device to their home, near their air conditioner. This lets OPPD to run their air conditioners in 15-minute intervals for 2.5 hours on the hottest days of the summer (up to 12 days a year, and never on holidays or weekends), reducing peak demand.
- Thermostat Program: The Thermostat Program provides a one-time $100 bill credit, and an additional $20 annually, for participating customers with a smart, Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat. Like Cool Smart, this program also helps reduce peak demand. Nest thermostats are currently eligible. OPPD is evaluating other thermostats for inclusion. Programs are managed by thermostat manufacturers and details may vary.
Prairie in Progress
OPPD’s Prairie in Progress project is a way to help preserve monarch butterfly habitat, while reducing grounds maintenance costs. The project, which began last year, is a joint effort between OPPD’s Environmental Affairs, Building Services and Operations teams and the Save Our Monarchs Foundation.
Monarchs used to be a more common site in our service territory, as Nebraska is on the migration path to Mexico. But the depletion of the milkweed plant has put the butterfly in danger. It’s where they lay their eggs, and it’s the only food their caterpillars will eat.
In 2018, OPPD converted 325 acres of its property into natural butterfly habitat. Plans call for adding more acreage in 2019. Nine district sites being restored to natural pollinator habitat.
Read more about OPPD’s efforts and how to make your own pollinator habitat.
OPPD’s Mission: Provide affordable, reliable and environmentally sensitive energy services to our customers