KY Home Performance Program Unveiled

Kentucky officials capitalized on the captive audience gathered at last week’s 2010 Midwest Regional Energy Star Conference in Lexington to announce the unveiling of the KY Home Performance program. The statewide program will serve as a resource for homeowners interested in lowering energy bills, by providing access to a comprehensive home energy audit, a list of Building Performance Institute-certified contractors, and where possible tax credits and rebates supported by the federal Department of Energy’s Home Performance with Energy Star program.

According to the KY Home Performance program, the first 1,000 homes participating in the program can qualify for a $350 rebate towards a whole-house energy audit once the program is fully underway in July 2010. The audits must be performed by a BPI-certified Building Analyst to qualify for the program’s incentives.

Unlike the Kentucky Energy Efficient Appliance program, whose rebates become available April 22, the KHP takes a whole house view of energy efficiency—looking for opportunities to reduce energy use and improve efficiency by replacing windows, adding insulation and sealing air leaks, and if necessary, updating furnaces or boilers providing a complete energy assessment and efficiency plan. In some cases, homeowners may choose to install renewable energy systems like solar panels or solar hot water heaters. Participating in this program is likely to maximize the federal and state tax incentives available for making such improvements.

Using the results of the Home Performance program implemented in other states, program staff expects that a typical homeowner can save 20% or more on annual utility bills after making improvements. These savings could be significant, making houses more comfortable and saving money on energy bills at the same time.

In an effort to expand the pool of qualified professionals eligible to carry out work through the program’s incentives, training opportunities are rapidly available through the Home Builders Association of Lexington and KCTCS campuses across the Commonwealth. According to Rick Hall, KCTCS’ own “green guru”, classes geared towards obtaining BPI Building Analyst certification will begin being offered as early as this May at KCTCS campuses statewide. With a wide roll out of available classes and qualifying opportunities for professionals currently certified under other systems like Home Energy Rating System (HERS) raters, KHP staff is confident the program will be supported by contractors and building professionals throughout the state.

More information about incentives for homeowners and enrollment or training opportunities for professionals is available on the KHP website or by contacting Kentucky Housing Corporation’s Andrew Isaacs by email or phone, (502) 564-7630 ext.483.

Kristin Tracz

About Kristin Tracz

Kristin Tracz served MACED’s Research and Policy team from 2009-2012 working on clean energy policy, energy efficiency programs and the Appalachian Transition Initiative. She joined MACED after finishing her Master of Environmental Management degree at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. She now lives and works in Washington, DC.