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What is How$mart

The How$mart energy efficiency upgrades program addresses the primary barrier to investment in new energy by homeowners, small businesses and enterprises: the necessity for upfront funding to pay for improvements. In this demonstration program, customers will pay for efficiency upgrades each month, out of the average energy savings generated by the retrofit. By providing retrofit services on the electric bill utilities can put energy efficiency in the reach of those who need it the most, but have previously been unable to make the upfront investment to start saving money on their energy bills. 

 MACED is working with four partner electric cooperatives (Big Sandy RECC, Fleming-Mason Energy, Grayson RECC and Jackson Energy) who will  pilot retrofits among their customers. The coops submitted their application to the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) to pilot a tariffed on-bill program, which will tie payments to the meter rather than the individual utility customer. MACED and the coops adapted this program design from precedents first developed through the PAYS® system and the How$mart® program in Kansas. A decision from the PSC on whether to allow utilities to provide retrofits as part of electric service is expected early this fall.

 In the long run utility service retrofits have the potential for significant energy savings, as the model works for all classes of utility customers – whether renters, homeowners or business owners.  The approach allows utilities to offer customers more comprehensive energy services at a time when construction of traditional power plants has become increasingly expensive. And the pilot, can be scaled up significantly by accessing compatible forms of government and private capital.