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August 3, 2012
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Kentucky poised to move forward in implementing governor’s energy strategy

Stakeholders discuss implementation of plan, suggestions for improvements

Participants in the Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence’s (DEDI)’s collaborative meetings represented diverse interests across Kentucky including utility, industry, commercial, academic, housing, non-profit, government, legislative, regulatory and business/trade associations.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 3, 2012) — The Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence’s (DEDI) initiative to further efficiency efforts in Kentucky, while paving the way to achieve Gov. Steve Beshear’s plan to reduce energy consumption by 18 percent by 2025 was the focus of a meeting Tuesday in Frankfort.

It was the final meeting in a collaborative series that brought together stakeholders from all sectors to assess efforts by Kentucky’s local utilities, industry and businesses.

In January 2011, DEDI contracted the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) to manage a two-and-a-half year stakeholder process under a cooperative agreement with U.S. Department of Energy. MEEA contracted with Smith Management Group of Lexington to provide technical and meeting facilitation services.

The first phase of the stakeholder process included 10 months of one-on-one meetings, followed in December 2011 by a three-meeting series of statewide collaborative meetings. The second collaborative was conducted in March 2012, and the final one wasy this week. Participants in these meetings represented diverse interests across Kentucky including utility, industry, commercial, academic, housing, non-profit, government, legislative, regulatory and business/trade associations.

Tuesday’s meeting also featured remarks from newly-appointed commissioner to the Kentucky Public Service Commission, Linda Breathitt, as well as a walk-through of each main policy and program option that will be included in the Action Plan.

Preliminary Action Items discussed at the meeting included:

— A simple, clear mechanism to track energy gains from utility-run efficiency programs, with the goal of measuring progress toward the governor’s 18 percent goal and positioning Kentucky as a leader in energy efficiency in the national arena.

— Creation of a Peer Exchange for utilities to share information and experiences.

— Expanding current state-run programs, such as Kentucky Home Performance.

— Increasing financial incentives for industrial and commercial energy users to invest in energy-saving upgrades.

— Providing for more robust education and training to residential and commercial energy users on the benefits of efficiency and the availability of incentive programs.

— Addressing the stock of energy inefficient manufactured homes in Kentucky.

— Uniform enforcement of the residential and commercial building code.

— Recommendations at the federal level on energy efficiency issues affecting all states.

Following further stakeholder input this month, DEDI plans to release the final Action Plan this fall, and then implement near-term action items in the winter and spring of 2013.

For more information about the efficiency project, contact Greg Guess, Director, Division of Efficiency and Conservation, DEDI, at Greg.Guess@ky.gov.

Photos by Donna Hodsdon/The Lane Report

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