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"The Kentucky Environmental Foundation has for twenty years been focused on finding clear grassroots and policy solutions to some of our community's worst environmental problems, to hold government accountable for protection of our health now and in the future. KySEA means when it comes to energy issues in Kentucky, we don't have to work alone.  The Alliance offers an opportunity for many groups with a wide range of experiences and expertise to unite for clean energy policy solutions, creating a drumbeat for change that will benefit our health, the environment and our state economy."

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2010

Sub-archives

Dec 02, 2010

Federal Program To Make Home Energy Audits Less Expensive

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Dec 02, 2010 01:10 PM

In November, Vice President Biden joined U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the launch of the Home Energy Score pilot program for residential customers.

Professionals will rate participants' homes for energy efficiency on a scale of 1 to 10 (ten being excellent). The rating will show them how their home compares to others in the geographical region. Raters will also provide recommendations that will help to reduce their energy costs and improve the comfort of their homes.

The ratings will be done by RESNET certified Home Energy Survey Professionals or Building Performance Institute certified professionals. The DOE expects that these audits to cost less than private audits currently available to residential customers, primarily because the home rating is based mainly on a visual survey of the home, rather than actual energy efficiency testing.

Once the home rating is complete, qualified households may then apply for up to $25,000 in federally insured, PowerSaver loans at or below market rates to make recommended efficiency upgrades.

The following states and municipalities are participating in the pilot program: Charlottesville, Virginia; Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts; Minnesota; Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Indiana; Portland, Oregon; South Carolina; Texas; and Eagle County, Colorado.  While Kentucky is not a participant at this point, DOE expects to launch a nationwide program after the pilot program is completed, in late 2011.

As a parallel to the Home Energy Score program, DOE released the Workforce Guidelines for Home Energy Upgrades, a comprehensive set of guidelines for workers in the residential energy efficiency industry. Kentucky now offers comprehensive training for individuals who want to become Building Performance Institute certified professionals. Read more about green careers in Kentucky here.

For more information about the Home Energy Score pilot program, visit HomeEnergyScore.gov. 

Nov 30, 2010

Solar manufacturing plant to open in KY

by Lisa Abbott — last modified Nov 30, 2010 04:31 PM

According to a recent article in the Danville Advocate Messenger, a home-grown business has just announced plans to begin manufacturing solar panels in Danville, Kentucky in mid-December.

The company, Alternative Energies Kentucky LLC already has nine employees, and intends to expand to about 25 as production gets underway. The company has already secured $1.125 million in state tax incentives.

Company owner Troy Lay of Harrodsburg stated in the article,

“Cleaner energy is just smart, and we are probably five years behind what a lot of the rest of the world is doing with technology like this.”

Employees of Alternative Energy Kentucky, LLC.

 

(Photo by David Brock. Pictured are employees of Alternative Energies Kentucky, LLC.)

Nov 22, 2010

Building Clean Energy Careers in Kentucky

by Kristin Tracz — last modified Nov 22, 2010 09:13 AM

A new report by MACED, Building Clean Energy Careers in Kentucky, notes that Kentucky has real potential for job creation in the clean energy economy, but needs changes in energy policy to make those jobs grow and improvements in workforce development to allow more Kentuckians to get the skills needed for those jobs.

A new report by MACED, Building Clean Energy Careers in Kentucky, notes that Kentucky has real potential for job creation in the clean energy economy, but needs changes in energy policy to make those jobs grow and improvements in workforce development to allow more Kentuckians to get the skills needed for those jobs.

 “The emerging clean energy economy has real potential for Kentucky in terms of economic development and job creation opportunities,” said Justin Maxson, President of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED). “But we need stronger state energy policy to grow the demand for workers along with a workforce development infrastructure that meets the sector’s skill needs in ways that low-income Kentuckians can access.”

The report surveys recent studies about the job opportunities in renewable energy and energy efficiency in Kentucky and focuses on the role of workforce development as part of an overall approach to a clean energy economy. The report highlights the importance of a coordinated workforce development strategy built on solid information that maps emerging career pathways in the sector, and underscores the importance of policies that build bridges to new training opportunities for low-income, low-skilled Kentuckians.

Noting the necessary role of stronger state energy policy in spurring job growth and sustaining job opportunities, the report emphasizes that job training is effective only if aligned with a deliberate job creation effort. The report makes recommendations for energy policy change that would support a strong market for renewable energy and energy efficiency in Kentucky, including establishing a portfolio standard for renewable energy generation and energy efficiency savings while expanding financing to spur investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy among energy developers, businesses, institutions and homeowners throughout the Commonwealth.

MACED authored Building Clean Energy Careers in Kentucky as part of the Working Poor Families Project, a national initiative supported by the Annie E. Casey, Ford, Joyce, and C.S. Mott Foundations to examine the conditions of America’s working families. 

Nov 17, 2010

Clean Energy Jobs Are Real and Growing!

by Lisa Abbott — last modified Nov 17, 2010 08:39 PM

 

For a number of years, clean energy jobs in the US have been growing steadily, even in a time of high unemployment and a severe recession. But this good news has often been hard to spot, given the relatively small size of the renewable energy sector and the dreadful shape of the overall  economy.

But now the evidence is pouring in that clean energy jobs are surging. An article posted today on RenewableEnergyWorld.com describes the remarkable job growth in most renewable energy fields in 2010, and projects continued strong growth in the year ahead, in part due to investments contained in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

For example, the article states:

"The solar power industry doubled the number of people that worked in the industry from 2009 to 2010, from approximately 50,000 in 2009 to 100,000 in 2010...In 2011, it is expected to grow the number of (US) jobs in the industry by 26%."

In contrast, in 2006, there were 82,595 people employed in coal mining in the US.

The article cites data from the Solar Foundation showing that solar installations in the US more than doubled in 2010 compared to the year before. "Firms are adding employees in all 50 states and the fastest growing jobs are installers and electricians."

The article also offers a good reminder that public policies matter! For example, it points out that passage of a strong national renewable portfolio standard in Congress could create 420,000 new jobs in the hydropower field alone by 2025.

 

 

 

 

Nov 05, 2010

Upcoming Forum on Renewable Energy In Kentucky

by Lisa Abbott — last modified Nov 05, 2010 10:40 AM
Filed Under:

KySEA members and other interested individuals are encouraged to register for a one day conference about the opportunities
for job creation in Kentucky through renewable energy.

The forum will take place on Wednesday, November 17 at the Berea College Alumni Building in Berea,Kentucky from 9 am to 3:30 pm.

The event is sponsored by the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center, the Tennessee and Eastern Kentucky Wind Working Group, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, the Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence, and Energizing Kentucky (a collaboration among four Kentucky colleges and universities).

 

According to conference publicity, the program will explore:

* Economic Drivers for Renewable Energy

* Opportunities to develop Kentucky's workforce to meet the industry's current and future employment needs

* Funding and investment opportunities that a clean energy economy might provide

* Challenges for businesses, utilities and consumers

 

There is a registration fee of $15 that will cover a light breakfast and lunch.

Any questions about this event may be directed to 502-852-0965.

Oct 27, 2010

KySEA at the Governor's Energy Conference

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Oct 27, 2010 08:43 AM

The Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance (KySEA) tabled at the Governor's Energy Conference on October 20th and 21st in Louisville. We had many good conversations with Kentuckians from across the state who are interested in what they can do to move Kentucky towards a clean energy future.

KySEA Tabling

Several school teachers stopped by the table, interested in how they could move their schools towards clean energy. People interested in installing solar panels on their homes were curious who they should contact to make that happen. Business owners and other individuals asked us how they could contribute towards KySEA's efforts to pass clean, affordable and sustainable state energy policy.

Our presence was particularly important given that the conference seemed to have a theme of "transition." Presentations throughout the two days focused on how Kentucky's and the nation's energy landscape are shifting and that an increase in renewable energy sources and a decline in the use of coal-burning power are inevitable. Kentucky Energy Secretary Len Peters stated that through the conference "we are exploring ideas for how we make this transition, this transformation go most smoothly for everyone."

KySEA is an alliance of individuals, businesses and organizations working together to promote clean, sustainable and affordable energy solutions for Kentucky. It was formed in 2009 and its presence couldn't be more timely. Given the changing energy landscape and the needs of so many families facing skyrocketing energy prices, KySEA is poised to do exciting work over the next few years.

With the 2011 legislative session coming up, our efforts to promote a package of sustainable, healthy and affordable energy options for the state are heating up. KySEA meetings are advertised on this website and open to the public - join us!


Oct 01, 2010

KySEA Membership Meeting to be held Oct 12: Join Us!

by Kristin Tracz — last modified Oct 01, 2010 09:07 AM
Filed Under:

Save the date 10/12 for a day-long KySEA Mtg!

KySEA will meet at 9:30am for a daylong meeting about strategy, communications and biomass policy at the Lexington Libary -- Northside branch, located at 1733 Russell Cave Road.  Please join us if you can make it!  You can RSVP here.  Members will receive additional information and an agenda in the coming days.  If you are not a KySEA member and are interested in attending the October 12 meeting, please email kristin@kysea.org for additional information.  We look forward to seeing you!

Sep 01, 2010

KySEA’s Voice Heard in Climate Action Plan Council Controversy

by Erik Hungerbuhler — last modified Sep 01, 2010 03:25 PM

The Kentucky Climate Action Plan Council is an advisory group representing “academia, agriculture, business, forestry, industry, environmental groups and many levels of government”, convened in December 2009 for the purposes of “collectively developing an action plan to address the causes of climate change, prepare for the likely consequences and impacts of climate change to Kentucky, and establish firm benchmarks and timetables for implementing the KCAPC recommendations.”  The Council has met four times over the past several months, with each meeting open to the public.  In between full Council meetings, Technical Working Groups – also open to the public – have convened to allow for a detailed consideration and study of various policy options related to the Climate Action Plan.

The workings of both the Council and the Technical Working Groups have been regularly updated on the Council’s website.

However, in the dog days of August – 8 months into the Council’s process – the Government Contract Review Committee voted 6-0 (with one abstention) to disapprove the contract with the Center for Climate Strategies, the DC-based consulting firm hired to facilitate and support the Council’s processes.

KySEA members have participated throughout the Council’s process, some formally as members of the Council itself and others as active public participants.  While KySEA members expressed concerns early on regarding the transparency of the appointment process and representation of appointees, the dialogue that occurred during the Council meetings as well as the data being assembled with the support of the Center for Climate Strategies have been steps in the right direction for Kentucky.   Recognizing the importance of these nascent efforts,  KySEA members came together to encourage Governor Beshear’s administration to override the Contract Review Committee’s recommendation and continue with the contract to the Center for Climate Strategies.

We submitted this letter to Governor Beshear, Secretary Peters and Secretary Miller.  We were thrilled to hear that the Administration agreed on the need to maintain the climate conversation and continue assessing Kentucky’s potential impacts and opportunities.  Secretary Miller’s letter to the Committee, informing of the decision to retain the Center for Climate Strategies is available here.

KySEA members will continue to engage in the Climate Action Planning Council process and share learnings with all our members and supporters.

Jun 30, 2010

Lewis County Affordable Housing Turns Green!

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Jun 30, 2010 08:50 AM

People's Self Help Housing in Vanceburg, KY, is paving a green path for affordable housing in Kentucky. A highly energy efficient home that PSHH recently built and sold has been LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is only the third house in all of Kentucky to receive the certification.


Melissa Evans paid $90,000 for the home and, given that low utility and maintenance costs in the future are a guarantee, it will remain affordable for years to come. The LEED-certified home cost about $115,000 to build and the purchase cost was lower due to grant support for the efforts from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.The home will use about 1/3 less energy than a standard house of it size.

A couple of years ago, on People's 25th anniversary, the board of directors decided that new houses had to be more energy efficient to offset rapidly increasing utility rates. Further, the organization believes that providing local jobs, further benefiting the local community, is the best way to do this work. Moving into green housing is a way to accomplish both of these objectives.

As Dave Kreher, PSHH executive director says, “we can provide jobs that will help people have affordable utility bills – the two can come together. Why have someone from Indiana come in and do this for us? We have a 28 year history of doing the work with local crews and these guys are as good as it gets. Let’s maximize the benefit for everyone. We have barely scratched the surface here. There is a lot to do.”

PSHH solar home

PSHH has built several highly energy efficient homes, including a couple like the one shown to the left that contain a solar hot water heater. Kreher and PSHH will remain committed going forward to this win-win situation, in large part because the community has such great needs for both affordability and jobs. Lewis County — which is in northeastern Kentucky and has a population of about 14,000 — is one of 43 counties in the state where poverty is considered persistent. In 2008, Vanceburg's median income was less than $21,000, or about half the state average. Electricity rates just rose by 26% recently. And county unemployment rate was near 18% at the start of this year.

Learn more about PSHH here.

Learn more about LEED certification here.



 

Jun 21, 2010

KySEA meeting a great success!

by Martin Richards — last modified Jun 21, 2010 06:29 PM
Filed Under:

The Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance held a meeting June 1 at the Lexington Public Library’s Northside Branch. The meeting was open not only for KySEA members but included other organizations interested in supporting clean energy in Kentucky.

KySEA meeting

There was great turnout and lots of new faces at the Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance June 1 meeting in Lexington. 40 people representing 28 different organizations, groups and businesses came together to learn about the Kentucky energy landscape, KySEA, each other and how to take the next steps of moving Kentucky to a clean energy future.

The goals for the meeting were to:

  • Continue to build relationships and understanding about our work  – independently and collectively.
  • Report and evaluate work on clean energy issues in the 2010 Gen. Assembly.
  • Inform/educate ourselves about one or more topics related to clean energy.
  • Review, improve and affirm a proposed action plan for remainder of 2010.
  • Identify ways for each group to participate

People left the meeting both exhausted and energized, “It was like drinking from a fire hose”, said Dick Watkins of Frankfort Climate Action Network, ”But the groups and the day was great

First in the morning was a six-month recap of the need for state clean energy policy, Kentucky’s energy challenge, and KySEA’s history, principals and policy priorities.

Following the “look-back” was a brief summary of energy policy and politics in the 2010 Legislative session and what KySEA’s goals and accomplishments were.

The morning ended with a round-robin set of education sessions on:

  • Using feed-in tariffs as a tool to drive renewable energy
  • Creating an Energy Efficiency Trust Fund

Renewable Portfolio Standards

The afternoon was spent planning KySEA’s work leading up to the 2011 General Assembly. Through small and large group discussions those attending fleshed out an outline, develop specific steps and create teams for accomplishing our plan.

Jun 16, 2010

Bid Opportunities for Energy Efficiency Work

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Jun 16, 2010 01:51 PM

Community Action Kentucky has released a Request for Qualification (“RFQ”) to allow businesses and contractors interested in receiving some of this work to see if they are qualified for the contracts.  This is an opportunity to help customers save money on their utility bills, reduce our energy consumption, and create energy jobs.
 
There will be an information session regarding this RFQ on Monday, June 21, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. in Room 171 of the Capitol Annex in Frankfort, KY.  All businesses and contractors with the ability to perform the services listed in the RFQ are encouraged to attend and bring their colleagues.  

 

Visit http://www.kaca.org/AboutCAK/BidOpportunities/tabid/611/Default.aspx for more information and to see qualification guidelines.

 

If you have any questions, please contact:
Roger McCann
 at CAK via telephone at 502-875-5863 or by email, RFQContractors@communityactionky.org.
 

Jun 08, 2010

Solar Pioneer in Kentucky

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Jun 08, 2010 09:12 AM
Filed Under:

Richard Levine: Kentucky’s Own Solar Pioneer
By Laura Alex Frye-Levine (daughter)
 
Laura and DickAs a child, I stumbled upon a copy of a neatly typed letter my father had written to his scoutmaster after being awarded the rank of Eagle Scout. While others in his troupe were celebrating the capstone achievement of their adolescent lives, my father had written earnestly about his concern for the integrity of the honor. He wrote: “I am afraid of what might happen if scouts start pursuing points for the sake of earning points alone.” The scoutmaster likely laughed the letter off as naive, but as a young child it made an impression on me – and I’ve continued to think of it as a metric of whether I am pursuing the right things for the right reasons.
 
Over the next several decades, through a desert of institutional support, my father would go on to pursue a career as an architect and solar innovator. His tenacious, passionate approach to his life’s work has always been refreshingly unconcerned with most of the official metrics of success.  Like any activist, he has pursued his work for reasons ultimately much bigger than himself. Nevertheless, through an inspired career of vision and hard work, Richard Levine has given a great gift to society. Had he been more conventional in his goals for research and design, the field of solar energy would not have advanced as far as it has today. 
 
Last month, at it’s most attended annual meeting in history, the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) honored my father with its most prestigious award in solar innovation: The Passive Solar Pioneer award. ASES cited him “For his lifelong dedication as a passive solar advocate, practitioner, theoretician and mentor and for his pioneering inspiration displayed on projects ranging from a house to a city.” As he took a bow in front of a crowd of 3,000 cheering people, waves of belated recognition sweeping over him, I was overwhelmed with the realization that his life’s work had not gone unnoticed! Like all true pioneers, Richard Levine never pursued his interests with the goal of receiving recognition, though recognition ultimately found him. 
 
Raven RunThe era of renewable energy is upon us. On a planetary scale, we are facing the incredible task of ending the cycles of our addiction to fossil fuels; falling short spells certain ecological demise. Though we all search for ways of leading healthier lives, we suffer from a general lack of coherent vision as to how to proceed forwards. In Kentucky in particular, the need to transition to economic and energy alternatives to Mountaintop Removal Coal mining is more pressing than ever. These days, many of us throw around words like “green” and “sustainable:” words that are repeated so often and in so many different contexts, that they have almost lost all meaning. Getting to the bottom of real solutions that work has been my father’s greatest challenge.
 
One of Richard’s primary contributions to a sustainable society has been to localize the idea of sustainability as a concrete balance-seeking process. Doing this has allowed him to consider a building as a system- employing intelligent design techniques as a first step in a holistic process. Through this approach, he has designed award-winning houses and cities. In 1978 he designed a double skinned office building in New York that required 12% of the energy of a conventional office building. His Raven Run House is Kentucky’s pioneering solar project. It was the first house to combine passive and active solar systems with super-insulation and an attached greenhouse.  Innovative in 1974, the house continues to be at the forefront of solar technology today and is still being published worldwide. 
 
Richard is currently working on several projects for zero-net-energy homes and businesses through his Center for Sustainable Cities Design Studio (www.cscdesignstudio.com).  He is principle author of the European Union’s Charter of Cities and Towns Towards Sustainability (Aalborg Charter), and won an international citation from the Royal Association of British Architects for his proposal designing a sustainable reclamation of a strip-mine site in Whitesburg.  In addition to Kentucky, he has designed sustainable cities for Korea, and Vienna. Upon presenting him with its Passive Solar Pioneer Award, ASES commended: “Work that in every way is an exemplar of the best that architecture has to offer our collective sustainability.” 

I look forward to a future that holds many more years of inspiration from Kentuckys own Solar Pioneer. Let's all work with him to bring a sustainable energy future to the commonwealth!

Apr 14, 2010

EE/RE Job Training Opportunity

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Apr 14, 2010 10:01 AM

-Article taken from Kentucky Housing Corporation

 

Kentucky Home Performance, the quickly developing home energy retrofit program at Kentucky Housing Corporation, uses a nationally certified training system for approved professionals from the Building Performance Institute (BPI). Here’s their online address: www.bpi.org. The current standard is the “BPI Building Analyst Certification”. Those who get the training first will be well placed to implement this program when it is operational (60-90 days).
 
Kentucky is a national leader in setting up a statewide system for training and standards in home energy audit and retrofit work. Aside from training there is also a ‘Quality Assurance’ component that will assist the training system to ensure that professions working in Kentucky homes will meet minimum ‘best practice’ standards. As the program is finalized you can follow our progress online: www.KYHomePerformance.org.
 
The required BPI “Building Analyst” Certification is a course with field work and a test. Various trainers use a 4-day “boot-camp” up to 10-days of training (KCTCS).
 
The first scheduled training will be hosted by the Home Builders Association of Lexington in April and May. There are rebates available for those who take the class and become certified. Up to $1000.
 
Class # 1 – Four Days – for Hers Raters only to become Building Analysts – April 27 – 30 – Class to be capped at 20 Students - $1,250 per student
 
Class # 2 – Six Days – From the ground up to become Building Analysts – May 10 – 15 – Class to be capped at 20 students - $1,450 per student

 

Sign-up is available at: www.hbalexington.com. Call Sandy Beck at 859-273-5117 for more information. KCTCS will be providing training in the near future. You can find KCTCS information at their website for training: www.kctcs.edu/Workforce_Solutions/.
 



Apr 13, 2010

Report Shows Major Economic Benefit from Energy Efficiency Implementation in the South

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Apr 13, 2010 10:03 AM
Filed Under:

By Kristin Tracz

A report entitled “Energy Efficiency in the South” was released yesterday by the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance; it reflects an in-depth modeling effort to demonstrate the potential impact of energy efficiency policies for residential and commercial buildings and industries throughout the Southern states. 

 

A sprofile of Kentucky, within the larger report, states that projected energy consumption in residential, commercial and industrial sectors would decrease by approximately 10% if additional energy efficiency measures were enacted. These measures would also create more than 10,000 jobs in Kentucky by 2020, according to the report.


The report stresses four major findings:
♣    Aggressive energy-efficiency initiatives in the region could stop energy consumption in the RCI sectors from growing over the next twenty years.
♣    A commitment to energy efficiency means fewer new power plants would be needed.
♣    Increased investments in cost-effective energy efficiency would generate jobs and cut utility bills.
♣    Energy efficiency would result in significant water savings. 


Specifically, the report states that “In 2020, energy bills in the South would be reduced by $41 billion, electricity rate increases would be moderated, 380,000 new jobs would be created, and the region’s economy would grow by $1.23 billion” if the investments in cost-effective energy efficiency modeled in the study were implemented in states throughout the region.


The importance of the South—defined by the U.S. Census Bureau to be the 16-state (and District of Columbia) region from Delaware down the Appalachians, including the Southern Atlantic seaboard, Gulf Coast and Texas—is stressed throughout the report, given that the South is the “largest and fastest growing region in the United States, with 36% of the nation’s population and a considerably larger share of the nation’s total energy consumption (44%) and supply (48%)”.


The vast majority of the region’s energy comes from fossil fuels.
Furthermore, the South consumes 51% of the nation’s total industrial energy use, 43% of the nation’s electric power, 40% of the energy consumed in residences and 38% of the energy used in commercial buildings.  This demonstrates the substantial opportunity for the region and the nation that comes from increasing energy efficiency efforts in the South.


Possible reasons for this highly-consumptive pattern of energy use, according to report authors, include the region’s historically low electricity rates, significant heating and cooling loads due to weather, low implementation of energy-efficient products and low expenditures on energy-efficiency programs.


In addition to a full report detailing results of modeling impacts for the region, SEEA and the report authors include a state-specific profile for each state in the region.

Mar 24, 2010

Kentucky Environmental Quality Commission Meeting

by Martin Richards — last modified Mar 24, 2010 02:41 PM

A discussion about Energy Legislation will be on the agenda of the Kentucky Environmental Quality Commission's quarterly public forum on Thursday March 25 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Video conferencing locations are availabe in various parts of the state for the public to attend.

EQC

Mar 18, 2010

Upcoming Sustainable Energy Workshop Series

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Mar 18, 2010 07:21 PM

Appalachia-Science in the Public Interest, a KySEA member, will be offering a series of workshops about solar energy. The trainings will take place on between March 29th and October 31st, 2010. Individuals can sign up for one or many of the workshops, learning everything from the basics about solar energy systems to how to create a successful solar energy or conservation business. Topics, dates, fees and locations are listed below.

 

Introduction to Solar Photovoltaics   March 29-30  Frankfort  $225
Solar Site Assessments and PV System Design   March 31   Frankfort  $115
Solar PV and the National Electric Code  April 1  Frankfort  $115
Residential Energy Assessments  May 13-14   Mt. Vernon  $225
Introduction to Solar Water Heating Systems  June 2-3   Mt. Vernon  $225
Creating a Successful Solar or Energy Conservation Business  June 4   Mt. Vernon  $115
Residential Energy Assessments  July 22-23  Frankfort  $225
Advanced Photovoltaics   Aug 18-20   Frankfort  $400
Introduction to Solar Water Heating Systems  Sept 14-15   Frankfort  $225
Advanced Solar Water Heating  Sept 16-17  Frankfort  $225
Introduction to Solar Photovoltaics  Oct 26-27  Frankfort  $225
Solar Site Assessments and PV System Design  Oct 28  Frankfort  $115
Solar PV and the National Electric Code  Oct 29  Frankfort  $115
 

 

You can also click here to download a one-page flyer with all the relevant information.

 

Visit www.kysolar.org or call (888) 576-6527 for more information or to register.

Mar 16, 2010

Report: Energy Efficiency Could Earn KY Families Hundreds of Dollars

by Martin Richards — last modified Mar 16, 2010 09:33 PM
Filed Under:

Conservation groups backing new federal energy efficiency standards have been saying for months that those standards would save money for Kentucky families. Those who oppose the legislation say it would cost consumers more. It turns out both are right, according to new research from the Consumer Federation of America.

FRANKFORT, Ky 

Tom Joseph, Public News Service - KY

 

Report author Mark Cooper, who is the research director for the Consumer Federation, crunched the numbers on the costs of better appliances and insulation against the price of electricity, and found bottom-line savings. He says the most bucks are saved with a 30 percent increase in efficiency.

"Now, it's not free - you have to spend money to make money. On net, however, they'll end up at the end of the year with $300 more in their pocket."

Cooper explains that efficiency is simply a profitable investment.

"The cost of getting more efficiency in the building - more insulation, higher-efficiency appliances and so forth - is less than the cost of consuming the energy."

Cooper says natural gas savings for Kentuckians using the same equation would be about 60 dollars. 

He notes that his numbers are based on assessments from federal research and from organizations that are not lobbying for, or against, energy legislation.

The full report, "Building on the Success of Energy Efficiency Programs to Ensure an Affordable Energy Future," is at www.consumerfed.org

 

Mar 09, 2010

Is House Bill 3 The Best It Can Be?

by Martin Richards — last modified Mar 09, 2010 08:55 PM
Filed Under:

In the 2010 General Assembly House Bills 3 and 408 each represent a comprehensive approach to addressing Kentucky’s long-term energy needs, but with distinctly different methods and outcomes.

(DOWNLOAD A PDF COMPARISON CHART OF THE TWO BILLS BY CLICKING HERE)

  • HB 3 bill does not make energy efficiency Kentucky’s top energy priority. Unlike HB 408 and Governor Beshear’s Energy Plan, HB3 masks the importance of efficiency by lumping it in a category that could also include nuclear power and other expensive generation strategies.
  • HB 3 has no requirement for any program or effort to help low-income Kentuckians with energy efficiency. The efficiency standards in HB 408 require energy efficiency specifically for those who are most vulnerable in a time of rising rates.
  • Under HB 3, the requirements for efficiency and renewables are about half the size of the goals in HB 408. The goals in HB 3 will not help Kentucky to keep pace with neighboring states in meeting efficiency and renewable targets that achieve job growth, protect vulnerable families, and stabilize long-term energy costs.
  • HB 3 does not contain provisions that are needed to spur development of in-state distributed renewable energy generation, such as a specific goal for solar generation and production-based incentives. HB 408 has these provisions.
  • HB 3 creates new tax incentives and expands others for various energy projects - HB 408 does not. These incentives will impact future state budgets.
  • HB 3 creates a new “low-carbon ” energy standard. This new designation would encourage the development of some of the most expensive generation strategies, including nuclear power and coal plants with carbon capture and storage. HB 408 focuses only on energy efficiency and renewable energy.

HB 3 focuses more on centralized power generation and increasing the efficiency of the generation and distribution infrastructure, with little support for the end user, especially low-income households.

 

HB 408 makes energy efficiency Kentucky’s top energy priority.  It assists the elderly and the poor.  It seeks to make efficiency and renewables available to all.  HB 408 is similar to legislation already enacted in Ohio, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina. And while both bills strive to create new jobs, HB 3 will likely concentrate those jobs.  HB 408 will make more jobs statewide.

 

Call or write your Legislator and ask that Kentucky pass energy legislation that makes energy efficiency, including low-income Kentuckians, a priority; and makes energy efficiency, renewable energy and the jobs they create available to all Kentuckians.  

Jan 31, 2010

Council to develop a climate action plan for Kentucky

by Lisa Abbott — last modified Jan 31, 2010 11:00 AM

Here's the clip from Mead's article:

 

"The (Ky Climate Action Plan) council includes Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry (who sent a representative in his place Thursday), and state and federal officials. It also includes people from the coal, aluminum, lumber and automobile industries, and two or three people who could be identified as environmentalists. That didn't escape Tona Barkley, a member of the Frankfort Climate Action Network, who sat through the 51/2-hour meeting to speak during a public comment period at the end. She said that the council was a great idea but added that she would like to see more environmentalists on it."


The Council's task is to "Identify opportunities for Kentucky to respond to the challenge of global climate change while becoming more energy efficient, more energy independent and spurring economic growth." The group's work will be supported by a consulting organization called the Center for Climate Strategies. According to materials prepared by CCS:

  • From 1990 to 2005, Kentucky's emissions increased at double the national rate.
  • Kentucky emissions rose 33 percent during the period; nationwide, emissions rose 16 percent.

The Mountain Association for Community Economic Development is the only member group of the Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance to have a representative appointed to the 32 member Council.

The formation of the Council was discussed on a recent KySEA conference call. Several individuals and groups are planning to circulate a letter urging the expansion of the Council to include additional representation, including from affordable housing groups, environmental organizations, and local climate action planning groups.

Messaging that works on climate and energy

by Lisa Abbott — last modified Jan 31, 2010 12:45 PM

 

Here's one story about strategic messaging that everyone concerned with advancing good energy policies should read. Or, as KySEA participant Tona Barkley said last week, "We should tattoo this information on our wrists!"

 

Frank Luntz, a well-known Republican pollster who designed communications strategies to defeat environmental initiatives in the 1990's, recently issued a report about messages that resonate with Americans about climate change and energy policies. Here are the punch lines:

 

  • A substantial majority of Americans (including majorities in both major parties) accept the reality of climate change and want to make progress in addressing it.
  • What the public wants are "forward looking, no-regrets solutions."
  • The focus of messaging should be on the benefits of taking action.
  • The four benefits the public values most are: energy independence, good health, American jobs, and accountability for businesses and corporations.

 

The final slide in Luntz's report proposes that people begin using the following basic messages:

 

If we do it right, we get cleaner air.   

We get less dependence on fossil fuels and enhanced national security.

We get more innovation in our economy.
More jobs, and more sustainable jobs.
And that’s if the scientists are wrong.
If the scientists are right, we get all of those things, and begin to solve what could be the most catastrophic environmental problem that any of us have ever faced.
That’s a pretty good bet to make -- because it’s a ‘No Regrets’ strategy.

It doesn’t mean it’s easy. But it means if we do it, and do it right, we get all of those benefits out of this policy approach. We think that’s why it’s the right thing to do.

 

What do you think?

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