Flathead Electric Co-op announces 2021 energy efficiency savings

$1,725,470 paid out to members and partners

Submitted by

Courtney Stone


Flathead Electric Cooperative reports that in 2021 members saved enough energy through efficiency efforts to energize 768 average-use homes for a year. Since 2009, the Co-op’s efficiency programs have saved members, and the Co-op as a whole, over 124,981 megawatt hours. That’s enough energy to power 8,846 homes for a year.

Co-op members can directly save energy—and money—by adopting energy conservation habits and installing efficient appliances and heating systems in their homes. Flathead Electric Cooperative can also assist members in identifying where their homes may be losing energy and how to proceed with needed upgrades.

In 2021, members and program partners were paid a total of $1,725,479 for energy efficiency efforts that saved a combined total of 10,766 megawatt hours of electricity. Residential rebates (i.e., heat pumps, insulation) totaled $1,228,167. Commercial rebates (i.e., custom lighting projects) totaled $497,312.

Residential rebates are available for:

  • HVAC (heat pumps, thermostats, duct sealing)
  • Weatherization (insulation upgrades, window replacements)
  • Appliances (Energy Star washers and dryers)
  • New Construction (“Montana Home,” manufactured home incentives)
  • Water Heating (heat pump water heater)

The Co-op’s commitment to residential energy efficiency efforts extends to assisting members with low interest, fixed rate loans to make efficiency upgrades. To qualify for an upgrade loan, the upgrade itself must qualify for a rebate. Loan eligible upgrades include:

  • Heat Pump
  • Water Heater
  • Windows
  • Insulation

On the commercial side, the Co-op supports energy efficiency efforts in lighting, HVAC, insulation, windows, commercial kitchen and food service equipment, plug load, and commercial new construction and building design.

To learn more about residential and commercial energy efficiency efforts and opportunities, call the Energy Services Department at 406-751-4483 or visit the Co-op’s website: www.flatheadelectric.com/save

Bears ’n Stuff is back at it again

Submitted by Cyrus Lee


Bears ‘n Stuff in partnership with the Kootenai Valley Record, the Cultured Pearl Yarn Shop and Lincoln County Credit Union have been able to help out again in Libby.  Human kindness makes the difference for our animal pets and friends.  The generous ‘denning’ of the Bears ‘n Stuff ‘Wildlife’ Afghan provided cash, on the spot, for the puppies and kittens at Kootenai Pets for Life.  Two more unique and beautiful pieces of wildlife art, created by inmates at Washington State Prison, remain on display in the Record’s storefront window.   These pieces are waiting to be ‘denned’ by kind patrons who have hearts for art and little fur balls.

Kootenai Pets for Life is a local ‘no kill’ stray and abandoned shelter.  Organized and operated by volunteers since 2001, KPFL has adopted over 3,500 pets back out into the community.  It has also facilitated the spay and neuter of over 8,000 area pets!  All of this happens with donations and volunteer time.

Friday was puppy wash day.  When I arrived to deliver our check, I found washed, fluffed puffy puppies snuggled in the arms of the staff.  KPFL has no separate puppy isolation area, the staff must constantly clean their section of the canine area as well as the pups to prevent anything getting to the little wiggly ones until they are old enough to be vaccinated.   The B ‘n S donation isn’t enough to move that new building project forward; but you are invited to KPFL’s online live ‘Jordan’s Way’ Facebook fund raiser on the 21st of February.  That might make that project happen!

Kootenai Pets for Life lines right up with the Sustained Labor Practice Lab at the prison at Walla Walla; both are a place of second chances.  The inmates creating the art, quilts, caps, bears that are going out into our community call themselves ‘Helping Hands’ and they work in the lab.  Some are working towards their second chance outside and some are working to make a difference for someone else.

While I was at KPFL, a truck pulled in.  In the back were some crated pets orphaned by the passing of their human.  They need a second chance.   They’ll get it at KPFL.

KPFL staff Faith, J.T., Jeff, and Deb share some fresh washed pups and Magic the cat.  Photo courtesy of Cyrus Lee