Westar Energy proposes new suite of energy saving programs for customers.
Topeka, Kan., Oct. 29, 2014 — Westar Energy proposed a new suite of energy efficiency programs in a filing Tuesday to the Kansas Corporation Commission. Programs would benefit small business customers, residential customers and income-qualified customers who take measures to use electricity more efficiently. It would also end new installations of the highly successful WattSaver thermostat program, which drew nearly 60,000 participants. The new programs included in today’s filing are viewed as a sensible progression from WattSaver, extending energy efficiency programs to other customers.
“We want to help our customers use energy wisely,” said Hal Jensen, executive director, customer programs and services. “From managing the books of a small business to sitting at the kitchen table reviewing your household budget, we know our customers want to make sure they are getting full value for the energy they buy. With these programs we can help our customers ensure they are putting the electricity they purchase to good use.”
For small business customers, Westar proposes a lighting retrofit program. Westar recognizes the critical role that small businesses play in Kansas, and more specifically, within the area it serves.
Many of these businesses are owned by local Kansans who work hard to grow their business and provide quality jobs but simply do not have the expertise or time to focus on energy efficiency. The proposed small business lighting program would bring experts to them and provide full facilitation of the energy review and of the recommendations and installation of energy saving measures. Participants would receive an expert assessment plus incentives for taking action to improve their energy efficiency.
“The lighting and efficiency improvements installed as part of these programs will be carried out by small Kansas businesses, bringing even more benefit to our communities,” Jensen said.
For residential customers the Home Energy Analysis program would make home energy assessments more affordable for Kansas families. Two levels of assessments would be offered. One with an estimated value of $350 would be offered for a $50 customer co-pay. The other, with a $550 value, would be offered for $198. Home Energy Analysis would increase energy efficiency awareness, assist customers in reducing energy consumption and provide an opportunity for Westar customers to optimize their energy spending.
The third program proposed would help make energy assessments and weatherization improvements more accessible to income-qualified customers.
Westar recognizes a need for energy efficiency measures among customers who otherwise would be challenged to install them. Therefore Westar is partnering with the Kansas Housing Resources Corp. (KHRC), which oversees the Kansas Weatherization Assistance Program, to administer Westar’s proposed Targeted Energy Efficiency Program. The program will provide both energy assessments that identify cost-saving weatherization measures and also help fund and install actual improvements to the homes to make these identified energy savings a reality for the customer.
Dennis Mesa, executive director of KHRC, said: “KHRC is excited about this potential collaboration with Westar and the opportunity to expand weatherization services to reach more Kansans in need. Kansas winters can be harsh and this program will help keep families more comfortable in their homes and help them save energy.”
Westar also asked to sunset new installations of its WattSaver thermostat program which has seen great customer response but also seen new interest in the program decline over the last year. Westar will continue to use the demand response feature of the programs and provide customer service to program participants.
Westar has asked to recover the costs related to these programs through its Energy Efficiency Rider.
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Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WR) is Kansas’ largest electric utility. For more than a century, we have provided Kansans the safe, reliable electricity needed to power their businesses and homes. Every day our team of professionals takes on projects to generate and deliver electricity, protect the environment and provide excellent service to our nearly 700,000 customers. Westar has 7,200 MW of electric generation capacity fueled by coal, uranium, natural gas, wind and landfill gas. We are also a leader in electric transmission in Kansas. Our innovative customer service programs include mobile-enabled customer care, a smart meter pilot project and paving the way for electric vehicle adoption. Our employees live, volunteer and work in the communities we serve.
For more information about Westar Energy, visit us on the Internet at http://www.WestarEnergy.com. Westar Energy is on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/yourwestar and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/WestarEnergy.
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