New York and Kentucky Energy and Efficiency Updates

Thu, 2010-12-02 10:40

With little action at the federal level last week given the Thanksgiving break, we are highlighting positive stories from around the country.

New York On-Bill Financing

The New York state legislature returned Monday, November 29th and on their plate is residential energy efficiency, in the form of On-Bill Financing legislation. The proposed bill would allow homeowners to borrow the money needed to cover the upfront costs of efficiency improvements, repaying those loans through a small monthly charge on their utility bills. As the Center for Working Families (CWF) notes, “With On-Bill Recovery financing, the monthly repayment amount billed to homeowners [for the loan] would be the same as (or even less than) the amount they’re saving by using less energy.” Only those improvements that pay for themselves would be permitted under the program and loans would be made at no cost to the state of New York. In the event of a home being sold, the new owners would take over the payments and reap the benefits of the previously installed efficiency upgrades.

On-Bill financing is a great example of the kind of sensible energy policy that we have worked for at the federal level, and it is encouraging to see states leading the way.

Kentucky Opts for Efficiency over Coal

Amidst growing support for renewable generation and energy efficiency, the East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) has agreed to terminate plans to construct two new coal-fired power plants. Instead EKPC will work with key stakeholders to expand the use of renewables and energy efficiency programs. Their plan could generate more than 8,750 jobs and have an economic impact of more than $1.7 billion on the region’s economy over the next three years. It is uplifting to see that even in the heart of coal country, energy efficiency and renewables have taken root.

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