Customer participation in efficiency programs helps LG&E, KU meet energy conservation goals

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Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company announced Wednesday that they have been able to offset roughly the same amount of energy that equates to building a new power plant. The savings were largely the result of customers embracing the utilities’ energy efficiency programs

LG&E and KU set a goal in 2008 of saving approximately 500 megawatts of capacity and, to date – with a year remaining for the existing programs – they have essentially reached that goal.

“The programs were designed to help change customers’ behavior in regards to using energy more wisely. Through their combined use of more energy-efficient appliances, devices and lighting in homes and businesses, customers have saved money and energy,” said David Huff, director of Energy Efficiency and Emerging Technologies.

Since 2008, through participating in LG&E and KU’s energy efficiency programs, customers have:

• Received more than 16,000 on-site home energy analyses.

• Performed more than 31,000 online home energy analyses.

• Benefitted from WeCare weatherization services more than 19,677 times.

• Recycled more than 55,000 refrigerators and freezers.

• Helped manage the community’s energy needs through Demand Conservation by having more than 230,000 devices installed.

• Earned more than $13 million in rebates for business facility upgrades.

• Earned more than $15 million in rebates for high-efficiency appliances and products.

In addition, LG&E and KU announced today that they will request that the Kentucky Public Service Commission extend some of the current programs through Dec. 31, 2025. All of the current programs are set to expire Dec. 31, 2018. The utilities are required by regulation to meet customers’ energy needs at the lowest reasonable cost. Because of a variety of factors that include the abundance of more energy-efficient appliances, devices and lighting in homes and businesses, some of the existing programs are no longer cost-effective.

As a result of allowing certain programs that are no longer cost-effective to expire, if LG&E and KU’s new plan is approved, residential customers’ bills would be reduced between $20 to $30 in 2018, and $35 to $45 in 2019.

“Today’s average customer is much more energy-efficient than when we ramped up our program offerings years ago. Coupled with the fact that we do not need to offset additional capacity for the immediate future, the cost of continuing to offer some of our existing programs simply outweighed the benefits to our customers,” Huff added.

The utilities will request approval from the commission for five program extensions:

• Advanced Meter Early Adoption Program
• Demand Conservation
• Nonresidential Rebates
• School Energy Management Program
• WeCare

Chief among the changes requested in the extension will be the addition of industrial customers to the revised nonresidential programs and the addition of a master-metered multifamily component to WeCare that would target properties that qualify for governmental subsidies such as Section 8 housing.

“The programs for which we are requesting commission approval allow us to continue offering customers, especially some of our most vulnerable ones, energy efficiency choices and provide programs to engage the industrial segment for the first time,” Huff said. “We thank our customers for helping us achieve this success and want to continue offering a variety of tools, tips and programs to help them use energy wisely.”

From Lousiville Gas and Elctric and Kentucky utilities

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