The save-a-watt model proposes the following regulatory changes:
- We would earn a rate of return based on about 85 to 90 percent of what it would have cost to build and operate a plant to produce the amount of electricity the program saves. Under this plan, all customers will receive an approximate 10 to 15 percent discount, even if they do not participate in an efficiency program.
- Duke Energy will be rewarded only for energy savings actually realized by customers. Each year, an independent auditor will verify actual energy savings achieved through energy efficiency programs.
Three national advocacy groups have reached agreement with Duke Energy to support the save-a-watt model. The Alliance to Save Energy, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the Energy Future Coalition endorse the initiative as “an innovative and promising new direction for the company and its customers.” While supporting the save-a-watt model, the advocacy groups will look to regulators in each state to determine an appropriate and reasonable level of compensation.
Watt a Bright Idea
Duke Energy customers in Ohio were the first to participate in a one-of-a-kind collaboration between Duke Energy, General Electric and Wal-Mart to make energy efficiency even more affordable. We provided our customers with coupons offering $3 off three-packs of GE compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) redeemable at Wal-Mart stores. Some 30,000 customers redeemed coupons to buy more than 225,000 CFLs during the promotion. Given the success of the offer, we have expanded our retail partnerships to include Sam’s Club, The Home Depot and Lowe’s.
Energy Audit Makes Oprah Winfrey Show
Duke Energy’s Home Energy House Call program was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show’s 2007 Earth Day special. The program provides a free in-home energy analysis to help customers determine the most costeffective steps they can take in their homes to save energy. The TV episode, highlighting viewers who are living a “green lifestyle,” featured a House Call field auditor helping a Northern Kentucky couple identify the steps they could take to reduce energy consumption. The audience members were given energy saving kits during the show.
Weatherization for Low-Income Customers
For more than 20 years, Duke Energy has collaborated with People Working Cooperatively (PWC) to provide free home weatherization improvements to eligible customers in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas. PWC is a nonprofit organization that provides critical home repairs and services to low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners. Through our program, qualified customers receive a furnace or heat pump cleaning and tune-up, energy efficient light bulbs, a water heater wrap and weather stripping. The result is a more comfortable, energy efficient home with lower energy bills.
A Collaborative Venture of the U.S. Department of Energy and the GridWise Alliance. Duke Energy is a member of this consortium of public and private stakeholders who are aligned around a shared vision of an integrated electric system. Ideally, energy can be generated, distributed and consumed more efficiently and cost effectively to achieve a more resilient, secure and reliable system. www.gridwise.org
LED Lighting the Future
In October 2007, Duke Energy teamed with Cree Inc. and launched a project to evaluate the use of light-emitting diodes (LED) for widespread commercial purposes. Cree has installed 19 outdoor LED lights at the company’s Durham, N.C., office to replace standard high-pressure sodium light fixtures. The project will provide data to evaluate the technology’s energy efficiency and longevity. It also may demonstrate that LEDs are viable alternatives to existing commercial lighting.