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Revised Slate Of KU Efficiency Programs Brings Smart Meters, Increased Costs

If you’re one of the Kentucky Utilities customers taking advantage of the utility's efficiency programs, a new option will soon be available.

Periodically, KU’s menu of options for customers looking to reduce their energy usage comes under review by the state Public Service Commission. They want to know which programs have outlived their usefulness, which should continue in some form, and what new ideas might be worth exploring.

Last week, the PSC approved a revised slate of programs, including one new addition: so-called “smart” electric meters.

"It doesn't give [customers] the reading in real time, but it allows them to go in within a 24 to 48 hour basis and see how much electricity they've been using and potentially adjust their usage patterns," says SPSC spokesman Andrew Melnykovych

KU intends to hand out up to 5,000 meters on a first come, first serve basis.

The downside to the new efficiency plan... a 29-cent increase in the monthly surcharge for KU customers who use 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month.

Also, other programs will be discontinued, including one that provided free compact fluorescent bulbs to residential customers. Melnykovynch says the market has been saturated and new LED bulbs could be a more cost effective option in the future. 

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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