How$martKY™ made permanent by Public Service Commission
September 17, 2013
Berea, Ky. – A recent decision by the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has paved the way for growth in a new form of home energy efficiency. How$martKY™, a home energy efficiency partnership between the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) and participating rural electric cooperatives, has just been made permanent through a PSC tariff.
The permanent tariff paves the way for rural electric cooperatives across the state to join the How$martKY™ program, which the PSC said has "encouraged energy conservation, lowered consumer bills and will result in reduced future demand." The program had previously been restricted to three eastern Kentucky co-ops: Big Sandy Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation (RECC), Fleming-Mason RECC and Grayson RECC.
The How$martKY™ program allows rural electric co-op customers to pay for energy efficiency upgrades in their homes with the electric-bill savings those upgrades create. This on-bill financing allows customers to make upgrades at little to no out-of-pocket cost, making the program available to low- to middle-income homeowners.
How$martKY™ Program Coordinator Bill Blair said the PSC's approval would not have been possible without the help of the program's RECC partners.
"We could not have made this program so successful without the strong partnerships we built with our RECC partners," Blair said. "Their help in implementing How$martKY™ has been invaluable, and we look forward to working with them, and many other utilities, in the future."
In addition to energy and money saved, How$martKY™ also improves quality of life for customers by making their homes more comfortable as a result of energy efficiency upgrades. On a recent How$martKY™ customer survey, almost 88 percent of respondents said their homes were more comfortable than before the retrofit.
How$martKY™ has completed energy efficiency upgrades at 127 homes in Appalachian Kentucky, which has produced an average of $76,000 in annual electric-bill savings. The program saves an average of 4,800 kWh of electricity a year, which equals an average of $500 in yearly savings per How$martKY™ customer. Customers are charged an average of $40 a month on their electric bills to pay for the energy efficient upgrades in their homes.
Jason Coomes, firstname.lastname@example.org