FirstEnergy efficiency programs grow — in other states - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV

FirstEnergy efficiency programs grow — in other states

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West Virginia continues to slip behind in energy efficiency as utilities offer programs elsewhere that aren't required here.

FirstEnergy announced May 17 its subsidiary West Penn Power's "Whole House Program."

"The Whole House Program will help you identify energy efficiency improvements that may qualify you for up to $1,200 in total rebates," reads the program's website.

The rebate opportunities come first in the form of up to $300 for participating in a comprehensive home energy audit. A certified expert will evaluate customers' heating and cooling systems, insulation, windows and doors and will conduct a blower door test to detect leaks, all leading to recommendations for improvements.

And, second, up to $900 for installing energy-saving air and duct sealing, insulation, and windows and doors.

In April, FirstEnergy announced a $50 cash rebate when customers recycle refrigerators, freezers and room air conditioners.

That's not all. The residential energy-saving incentive page on West Penn Power's website lists 10 programs,  some of which are a home energy analyzer, discounts on compact fluorescent lights, an energy conservation kit and a less intense walk-through home energy audit.  Listed in a separate category is a low-income home check-up program.

Mon Power's residential energy-saving incentive page includes a home energy analyzer and a low-income home check-up program. No need to categorize them separately — there are only two.

Approved by the Public Service Commission of West Virginia in December and launched earlier this year, FirstEnergy's energy savings programs in West Virginia amount to light bulb, faucet aerator and shower head replacements in low-income homes — those within 200 percent of the federal poverty level — along with refrigerator replacements for those that qualify, and partial energy audits.

In Pennsylvania, FirstEnergy's energy efficiency program aims to reduce electricity use by 1 percent over two years; its Ohio program plans for a 0.8 percent reduction over two years.

Its West Virginia, energy efficiency program seeks to reduce electricity use by 0.5 percent over five years.

The company is meeting the requirements set out by the PSC.

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