Elk River Municipal Utilities (ERMU) not only supplies water and power to business and household customers. It also offers them options on how to get their power plus cash rebates for equipping their properties with appliances that conserve.
As of early 2012, ERMU was connecting 4,533 customers in Elk River with water and 9,224 customers in Elk River, Otsego, Dayton and Big Lake Township with electricity.
At an additional monthly billing rate that can start as low as $1, electricity users can contract with ERMU to use wind power for their properties, with the wind power coming from Great River Energy and generated at farms near Chandler, Dodge Center and Trimont, Minn.
ERMU’s customers can have rebates credited to their billing statements through the purchase and use of Energy Star appliances.
Installing a central air conditioner can qualify a customer for a rebate of $180 when the AC unit’s seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) is 14.5 to 14.9, $280 for a rating from 15.0 to 15.9 or $330 for a rating of 16.0 or higher. Energy Star window air units qualify for $50 rebates.
Air-source heat pumps can bring rebates of $480 when SEER values equal 14.5 to 14.9, $580 for air-source pumps up to 15.9 SEER or $630 for greater SEER figures. Geothermal heat pumps (closed-loop only) qualify for rebates of $400 per ton.
Customers can get a $50 rebate for installing a new refrigerator, plus an additional $25 if the buyer is replacing and recycling an old appliance.
In the laundry room, customers can get a rebate of $65 for installing a clothes washer with a water factor less than or equal to 5.5.
Electric water heaters with energy factors of .91 or higher, when in use with ERMU’s off-peak program, earn rebates of $200.
For a new or better blower motor in the furnace, use an electronically commutated motor (ECM) for a $50 rebate or, if installing a new furnace with an ECM, enjoy a rebate of $100.
For when the time comes this spring to shut off the furnace and cool down with some air, ERMU will issue a $60 rebate to reimburse costs of an air unit tune-up conducted by any licensed HVAC provider.
Customers who choose to join ERMU’s “Cycled AC” program will get $40 per year to allow staff to wire their units to be controlled by Great River Energy via remote. The program activates only when high temperatures and humidity levels pass certain points. When anticipating those hottest of days, says Wade Lovelette, superintendent of technical services for ERMU, “Cycled AC” customers turn on their air when they awake at home or arrive at their business in the early morning, and then Great River Energy turns down the air by remote from 1 to 8 p.m.
Outdoors during the summer, property owners can get rebates for joining ERMU’s “Smart Irrigation” program which qualifies participants for typical rebates of $250 but sometimes as much as $500 depending on a property’s size and shape.
The available incentives for conservation continue, with ERMU including coupons with utility bills (and making them available in the offices at 13069 Orono Parkway, Elk River) for discounts on compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs purchased from Elk River retailers, most or all of which will accept the coupons, Lovelette says. The coupons being issued in 2012 are good for $2 off any CFL purchase.
Lastly, in addition to wanting to keep its customer homes and businesses (and all appliances) illuminated and working while also using power and water conservatively, ERMU has passed the 25-year mark of offering the installation of security systems among its services.
Starting as a utility lineman, Lovelette has been with ERMU for 30 years and was among the first employees to introduce security systems as a feature in the community. “I have one of the original ones in my house, and it’s still working,” he says.
ERMU is proud to have kept its monthly monitoring fee at $18.75 for all clients, Lovelette adds. He notes that other providers may offer lower fees for a contracted amount of time, but then often will raise them sharply when the purchase contract expires.
The company will install its security systems in homes and businesses across Minnesota, with Lovelette noting that an Elk River business owner recently had ERMU install a system in a home on Mille Lacs Lake.
For more on Elk River Municipal Utilities’ services and rebate programs, call (763) 441-2020 or visit ElkRiverUtilities.com.