Statewide Study Seeks Energy Efficiency
Article was added on Friday, April 02, 2010
South Carolina's electric cooperatives are
launching a statewide energy efficiency and consumer education
study. While aimed largely at making the state's
highest-in-the-nation percentage of manufactured homes more energy
efficient, site-built homes are also part of the study.
The study, called "Help My House," will test different
approaches to cost-effective energy solutions in more than 1,200
homes, including manufactured and site-built homes. Manufactured
homes, many of them older, less-efficient models, make up nearly 20
percent of South Carolina housing. For electric cooperatives, the
number is even higher at 24 percent. That's three times the
The S.C. Budget and Control Board's State Energy Office awarded
Central Electric Power Cooperative, the cooperatives' wholesale
power supplier, $2.9 million for the statewide study. Central
Electric's additional funding brings the total budget to $3.3
Nineteen of the state's electric cooperatives will participate
in the education and research study, including Aiken, Berkeley,
Black River, Blue Ridge, Broad River, Coastal, Edisto, Fairfield,
Horry, Laurens, Little River, Lynches River, Marlboro,
Mid-Carolina, Palmetto, Pee Dee, Santee, Tri-County and York.
Beginning Monday, March 1, consumer-members of the above co-ops
will have the opportunity to apply for one of the available energy
efficiency measures offered through their
cooperative. Printed applications for some of the
measures can be found in South Carolina Living magazine or in a
member's latest electric bill. Applications will be accepted
through April 30. Members may apply only for the
measure being offered by their cooperative.
"We know that energy efficiency can save our members money," said
Ron Calcaterra, Central Electric's president and CEO. "This study
will show us which efficiency measures will give them the biggest
bang for their buck. It will also help educate our members on
how to use energy more efficiently."
"The benefits of this study to the citizens of the state are
two-fold," said Ashlie Lancaster, an official with the energy
office. "Not only will the residents who participate in this study
see savings from their homes becoming more energy efficient, but
residents state-wide will benefit as we learn the most effective
ways to reduce energy use in manufactured homes."
Each of the 19 co-ops will participate in at least one, but not
all, of the following field tests:
- 200 manufactured homes will receive standard weatherization
assistance (Aiken, Berkeley, Black River, Little River)
- 200 manufactured homes will receive energy-efficient roof
retrofits (Broad River, Horry, Mid-Carolina)
- 200 manufactured homes will receive high-efficiency heat pumps
(Blue Ridge, Coastal, Lynches River, Palmetto, Santee)
- 200 manufactured homes will receive ENERGY STAR appliance
upgrades (Coastal, Marlboro, Palmetto, Tri-County, York
- 400 homes will receive a new in-home display power monitor
(Edisto, Fairfield, Laurens, Pee Dee)
helpmyhouse.org/hvacupgrade to apply for the manufactured home
high-efficiency heat pumps.
Go to helpmyhouse.org\solarthermal
to apply for the solar thermal water heater.
Data from the field tests will enable utilities and policy
makers to determine which energy efficiency approaches have the
greatest impact and should be emphasized in the future.
"By learning the most efficient measures to reduce energy costs
in these homes, the state will be able to take a more strategic
approach to energy efficiency," Lancaster said. "This could be a
great relief to moderate and lower income families which
unfortunately tend to have higher percentages of their income going
to their power bills."
This grant is part of $68 million in federal economic stimulus
funds awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to the South
Carolina Energy Office for the purpose of reducing energy costs,
increasing the use of renewable energy and creating jobs.
The Help My House study is the latest in a series of measures
co-ops in South Carolina are taking to save energy and money.
Since 2008, the co-ops have given away more than two million energy
efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs to
consumer-members. And last year, the co-ops awarded home
energy efficiency makeovers valued at up to $10,000 each to seven
families in the state. More information on that program is
available at HelpMyHouse.org.
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