Kentucky Power customer DSM charge to become a bill credit

ASHLAND, Ky. – Kentucky Power residential customers will soon see a credit on their bills. The credit is the result of the discontinuation of most of the company’s 2018 energy efficiency programs, pending a hearing before the Kentucky Public Service Commission on Jan. 11 in Frankfort to review overall program costs.

Customers will see the credit every month in 2018 under the Demand Side Management surcharge, which appears on bills as DSM Adj and varies each month. A residential customer using an average of 1,324 kilowatt hours a month will see a one-month credit of about $1.60. This monthly credit compares to a one-month charge of $10.61 last January. The average residential customer will see a net gain of about $12 a month. Commercial customers will see a charge of $2.67, compared to $5.57 last January. Credits and charges vary by usage. The more kilowatts used, the larger the credit.

Kentucky Power was required to increase spending to $6 million annually on all customer energy efficiency programs by 2016. The PSC relieved Kentucky Power of that obligation in a November order while it reviews the cost-effectiveness of all programs, making way for the credit.

The Commission also ordered Kentucky Power to suspend spending on all of its energy efficiency programs, except for its Targeted Energy Efficiency weatherization program for low-income customers. The program is administered in partnership with regional area action agencies, who install new heat pumps and weatherization measures for customers meeting income requirements. Nearly 730 customers have benefited from the program since 2012. Kentucky Power first offered energy efficiency programs in 1996 and had 13 programs until the suspension.

“We are committed to being open and transparent with our customers while also helping them to control their energy consumption,” said Kentucky Power President Matt Satterwhite. “We will continue to offer Commission-approved energy efficiency programs that help our customer save energy and money and will work with the Commission to determine the level of customer programs they support moving forward.”

Among suspended programs are the popular home energy audits program. Since 2012, 9,721 home audits have been performed for residential customers. During the audits, an energy specialist would identify and fix areas in the home that may be losing energy while installing energy conservation measures like low-flow showerheads, LED light bulbs, and weather stripping.

Also affected is the Commercial Incentive Program, a favorite offering that businesses, schools, government agencies, churches and businesses used to help fund replacement of outdated lighting and heating and cooling systems with modern equipment. Since 2012, about 1,141 commercial customers have participated in the program.

Kentucky Power, based in Ashland, serves about 168,000 customers in 20 eastern Kentucky counties. It is an operating company of the American Electric Power system. 

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