Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities (LG&E and KU), headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is the first utility company in the United States to be recognized as a RESNET EnergySmart Program. The company, which owns and operates Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, entered into an agreement with RESNET to educate consumers about the benefits of energy efficient homes by marketing the home energy rating system (HERS) Index score for newly constructed homes.
Created by RESNET to give consumers a better understanding about the differences between homes – similar to the miles-per-gallon sticker on a new car – the HERS Index is a nationally recognized system for measuring a home’s energy efficiency. A lower HERS Index score means a more energy efficient home.
As a result of the agreement, houses constructed by builders participating in LG&E and KU’s Energy-Saving New Homes Program will be rated for energy efficiency, as per RESNET standards. Builders can use the HERS Index scores to more effectively market their homes to consumers. Homebuyers, in turn, will be better able to judge how energy efficient a home is by its HERS Index score.
There are currently 85 builders from across the utilities’ service areas that are taking part in the program.
The Energy-Saving New Homes Program encourages builders to construct high energy performance homes by offering them rebates based on the HERS Index scores of the houses. For example, single family homes that receive a HERS Index score of 85 are eligible for a rebate of $440, and it goes up to $1,200 for homes that score 50 or lower. Furthermore, LG&E and KU will actively market builders who participate in the program (and enter into an agreement with RESNET as a RESNET EnergySmart Builder) as “Program Active EnergySmart Builders”.
According to Bill Cooper, Program Manager for LG&E and KU’s Energy-Saving New Homes Program, the partnership between LG&E and KU Energy and RESNET will benefit both builders and consumers. “RESNET’s rating system provides a quantitative measure of energy efficiency and allows consumers to make more informed comparisons between homes. We are proud to be designated by RESNET as the first EnergySmart Program in the nation.”
RESNET Executive Director Steve Baden singled out LG&E and KU for praise in helping to promote energy efficient homes and EnergySmart builders. “Today’s new homes are much more efficient in comparison to homes built just a decade ago. These homes are more affordable to maintain, comfortable and have a higher value. Thanks to utilities like LG&E and KU, builders are increasing the energy performance of the homes they build. This is good for consumers, the environment and the local economy.”
Together the two utilities have a combined customer base of over 1.2 million, spread across Louisville and 16 surrounding counties, 77 Kentucky counties and 5 counties in Virginia. To learn more about their Energy-Saving New Homes Program, visit www.lge-ku.com/build
The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) is the independent, national nonprofit organization that homeowners trust to improve home energy efficiency and realize substantial savings on their utility bills. RESNET’s industry-leading standards are recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, among others.
Steve Baden, RESNET Executive Director