Energy- and Time-Saving Programs are Approved
Progress Energy Carolinas has received approval from the N.C. Utilities Commission for four new programs designed to help customers save energy and money.
The company is completing program design and expects to begin offering the new energy-efficiency and demand-side management (DSM) programs to customers in the coming months.
"As demand for energy continues to grow, we are committed to providing our customers with resources to help them use energy wisely and save money on their electricity bills," said Lloyd Yates, president and CEO of Progress Energy Carolinas. "Aggressive energy efficiency and conservation are key parts of our balanced approach to meeting the challenges of growing energy demand, rising fuel costs and global climate change. The effectiveness of these programs will depend largely on customer participation."
The approved programs, which were proposed by the company in May, are:
n EnergyWise: The residential load-control program will enable Progress Energy Carolinas to adjust remotely the air-conditioning units of voluntary customer participants during periods of peak electricity demand, particularly on the hottest summer afternoons, when demand is at its highest of the year.
The company's goal for EnergyWise is to have the capability to reduce peak electricity demand by 200 megawatts (MW) by 2017, which will help delay the need to build an equivalent amount of peaking power plant capacity.
Customers participating in EnergyWise will receive an annual $25 bill credit as an incentive.
n Home Advantage: This is a residential new construction program designed to encourage builders and developers to construct new homes that meet U.S. EPA Energy Star(r), or higher, energy-efficiency standards.
Home Advantage will provide an incentive of up to $400 to builders and developers whose single-family or multi-family housing units, high-rise condominiums or manufactured housing units meet Energy Star(r) qualifications with 14-Seer HVAC equipment.
The program also will provide additional rebates to builders for installing higher efficiency equipment. Builders will be able to sign up for the Home Advantage program in the coming months.
n Commercial, industrial and government (CIG) new construction-custom: This program will promote energy efficiency within the CIG new construction market through custom energy-efficiency design reviews.
Progress Energy Carolinas and energy-efficiency engineering firms will work with CIG customers' design teams to provide comprehensive design review and recommend upgrade options to energy-conservation measures. Areas to be evaluated include lighting, HVAC, refrigeration, energy-management systems, motors and other cost-effective energy-conservation measures.
The program will provide aggressive financial incentives to enable customers to achieve a higher payback on their investments.
n CIG retrofit-custom: This program includes a partnership with energy-efficiency engineering firms to provide energy audits and recommendations for energy-efficiency upgrades to existing CIG facilities.
These custom audits will include reviewing cost-effective upgrades for lighting, HVAC, refrigeration, energy-management systems, motors and other components and systems.
The goal of the program is to improve the energy efficiency of existing facilities by providing aggressive financial incentives that will enable the customers to achieve a higher payback on their investment.
As previously announced, Progress Energy Carolinas is seeking commission approval of cost recovery and appropriate incentives to operate the efficiency and DSM programs, consistent with the state's energy bill enacted last year.
The Utilities Commission is still reviewing an investment in a distribution demand-response system proposed by Progress Energy Carolinas. That initiative will be capable of reducing peak demand by nearly 250 megawatts.
In the coming months, the company expects to propose additional programs to the commission, ranging from rebates on individual efficiency improvements and equipment purchases to a comprehensive energy improvement program for existing home owners that will address heating and air conditioning, duct work, lighting, insulation and other components and systems.
Other programs will focus on enhanced efficiency for low-income households, small commercial businesses, nonprofits and military base family housing, as well as rebates for CIG new construction and retrofitting of existing facilities.
These programs are a key part of the company's strategy to double its energy efficiency portfolio to 2,000 megawatts and potentially delay the need to build power plants.
The company continues to provide efficiency information through the Save The Watts campaign. Save The Watts is an educational initiative that features a highly interactive Web site, www. savethewatts.com, with energy-efficiency program details and more than 100 useful tips for customers to save energy.
Progress Energy is headquartered in Raleigh.
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