The Wire

Energy news from Omaha Public Power District


OPPD again designated as Smart Energy Provider

January 24, 2023 | Jason Kuiper | energy efficiency, industry, public power, renewables
smart energy provider

OPPD has again been awarded as a Smart Energy Provider (SEP) by the American Public Power Association (APPA). OPPD first received this designation in 2020.

The SEP program is a “best practices designation for utilities that show commitment to and proficiency in energy efficiency, distributed generation, renewable energy, and environmental initiatives,” according to the APPA.

OPPD joins 100 other public power utilities in receiving the SEP designation. OPPD’s designation runs from November 2022 to October 2024.

The SEP application looks at smart energy program planning, energy efficiency and distributed energy resources, environmental and sustainability programs, and customer communication and education. OPPD programs that fall into those categories include the utility’s Energy Efficiency Assistance Program, Smart Thermostat Program and its Solar Trade Ally Program.

The Energy Efficiency Assistance Program helps qualified applicants save money through increased energy efficiency. Participants receive up to $2,000 in home improvements to make their homes more energy efficient. They also learn effective energy-saving tips.

The Solar Trade Ally Program highlights participating companies approved by OPPD to submit business rebate applications. These companies completed OPPD training and are familiar with program requirements. They have also met a list of qualifications and agreed to standards of conduct.

The Smart Thermostat Program helps provide energy savings year round. OPPD manages participants’ air conditioner through their smart thermostats during peak times, up to 15 weekdays per year, to help reduce load and keep energy costs low.

A collaborative effort

Heather Siebken, director of Product Development & Marketing, said OPPD employees from Customer Service, Finance, Systems Transformation, Utility Operations and Public Affairs all collaborated with her department on the application and helped earn the designation.

“The SEP application process for this designation is extensive,” she said. “It took a collaborative effort from various areas across the district to compile the necessary data requirements and to accurately showcase all that OPPD does to serve our customers every day.”

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About Jason Kuiper

Jason Kuiper joined OPPD as a communications specialist in 2015. He is a former staff writer and reporter at the Omaha World-Herald, where he covered a wide range of topics but spent the majority of his career covering crime. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and has also appeared in several true crime documentary shows. In his free time he enjoys cooking, spending time with his wife and three children, and reading crime novels.

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