Science
3:10 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Energy Conservation Program Could Help Utilities Hold Off on New Power Plant

An energy-saving program that’s been around since 2001 is starting to see a steady uptick in the number of participants.

About 20% of L,G & E and Kentucky Utilities customers are currently signed up for the Demand Conservation program, which allows the utilities to install a switch on air conditioning units and cycle them off for brief periods of time to save megawatts:

"When it’s really humid, that makes those air conditioners really work hard. And those are the days when we’ve had to cycle this year, and we’ve only had to cycle five times so far this year."

Spokesman Cliff Feltham says many customers don’t notice when their air conditioning unit is being cycled off, and a monthly credit is offered during summer months. KU and LG & E would like to eventually see around 50 percent of its customers enrolled in Demand Conservation to help maintain or reduce current energy production levels.