Kentucky Makes Strides in Energy Efficiency / Public News Service

Researchers say Kentucky needs stronger policies that encourage utilities to offer energy efficiency programs to customers. (Daniel X. O’Neil/Flickr)

October 2, 2017

FRANKFORT, Ky. – A new report highlights the strides the Bluegrass State is making in energy efficiency – and also points out areas where it could do better.

Kentucky moved up two notches from last year, now ranking 28th in an annual State Energy Efficiency Scorecard.

And it’s among the top 10 states that have seen the most improvement, says report author Weston Berg, a research analyst of state policy with the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

Berg explains Kentucky does the best in terms of its energy codes for buildings.

“They’ve been pretty proactive in adopting some of the more recent model energy codes,” he points out. “So, looking at requirements for windows and building envelope, basically ways to improve efficiency in new construction.”

Kentucky also fared well in the report in terms of state government, for offering several financial incentives for energy efficiency investments.

The state government also sets energy requirements for public buildings and promotes the use of energy savings performance contracts.

Overall, Kentucky scored 16 points out of a possible 50.

As far as utility policies, Berg says there is a lot of room for improvement, as Kentucky ranks below the national average for energy savings.

He says the state needs stronger policies that encourage utilities to offer energy efficiency programs to their customers.

“It’s a way of helping customers save money on their energy bill, make their homes more comfortable and overall, contribute to helping the state pollute less,” Berg explains. “So, there’s a whole range of benefits that come along with energy efficiency that states could be helping the utilities and their customers take advantage of.”

Kentucky also received poor marks for not setting its own standards for energy efficient appliances, a lack of policies that encourage the deployment of Combined Heat and Power systems, and for weak policies on using energy efficient transportation.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service – KY

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