LPEA to Begin Air-Source Heat Pump Pilot Project

The La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) recently gained access to funding through the Beneficial Electrification League to help local income-qualified members adopt the latest in electric water heating technology – increasing energy efficiency and lowering utility bills.

Select homes in Animas View Mobile Home Park are now eligible to receive free air to water heat pump water heater installation along with free installation of other energy efficiency measures, including LED lighting, low flow faucets and shower heads, and window and door seals.

“This innovative project will enable LPEA to test the feasibility of on-grid technologies to manage our local electricity needs,” said Jessica Matlock, CEO of LPEA. “In addition to a direct benefit for certain members of the pilot, it will help LPEA avoid buying expensive electricity, which will keep tariffs lower for all LPEA members.”

The installed water heaters with air-to-water heat pumps are not only extremely efficient, but also work according to a set schedule to avoid expensive peak electricity consumption. In rare cases, LPEA is able to remotely manage these water heaters during periods of high demand. This has no impact on member households (since water heaters store enough hot water for these short periods of time) and it will help LPEA avoid buying expensive “peak power” from its utilities.

This program is being carried out in collaboration with 4CORE (Four Corners Office for Resource Efficiency) and the installation is expected to start in February 2022. Participation is voluntary and the total number of apartments included depends on the matching funds that LPEA can secure other partners.

LPEA is a member-owned, nonprofit power distribution cooperative serving La Plata and Archuleta, with segments in the Hinsdale, Mineral and San Juan counties. LPEA is the fifth largest cooperative of 22 in Colorado and aims to provide safe, reliable power at the lowest reasonable cost to its approximately 34,500 members. For more information, contact LPEA at (970) 247-5786 or visit lpea.coop.

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