LPEA wins grant to fund air-source heat pump pilot project

Photo Credit: La Plata Electric Association

Benefits local income-qualified community 

La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) recently received access to funding through the Beneficial Electrification League to help local income-qualified members adopt the latest electric water heating technology – boosting energy efficiency and reducing utility bills along the way. 

Select homes in the Animas View Mobile Home Park are now qualified to receive the free installation of an air-source heat pump water heater, together with the free installation of other energy efficiency measures, including LED lighting, low-flow faucets and showerheads, and window and door weather-stripping.  

“This innovative project will allow LPEA to test the viability of grid-integrated technologies to manage our local power demand,” said LPEA CEO Jessica Matlock. “Beyond being a direct benefit to certain members in the pilot project, it will help LPEA avoid the purchase of expensive power, thereby keeping rates lower for all LPEA members.” 

In addition to being extremely efficient, the installed air-source heat pump water heaters will run on a schedule set to avoid expensive peak power consumption. In rare events, LPEA will be able to remotely manage these water heaters during times of peak demand. This will not impact member homes (as water heaters store enough hot water for these short periods), and it will help LPEA avoid the purchase of expensive “on-peak” power from its power suppliers.  

This program will be implemented in partnership with 4CORE (Four Corners Office for Resource Efficiency) and is expected to begin installations in February 2022. Participation is voluntary, and the total number of homes included will depend on the matching funds LPEA is able to secure from other partners. 

LPEA is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric distribution cooperative serving La Plata and Archuleta, with segments of Hinsdale, Mineral and San Juan counties. LPEA is the fifth largest cooperative of 22 in Colorado and aims to provide safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost to its approximately 34,500 members. For additional information, contact LPEA at (970) 247-5786 or visit   

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