Appalachian Power introduces energy efficiency programs for low-income Virginia customers

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Appalachian Power announced new energy efficiency programs for low-income customers Wednesday.

The projects were said to support the company's low-income weatherization effort brought on by 2015 legislation by the Virginia General Assembly and Gov. Terry McAuliffe's initiative to assist low-income customers with home weatherization and help homeless veterans access permanent housing.

Appalachian Power said the programs will help show customers how to reduce energy usage and lower their costs.

There will be three pilot programs focusing on veterans, energy efficiency education for customers in assistance programs, and weatherization and efficiency upgrades to a multi-family residential building:

  • Homeless military veterans receiving support from the Virginia Housing Development for Veterans through the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program and Total Action for Progress will be eligible for energy assistance funding from Appalachian. These veterans can receive an "energy voucher" that will be used to establish an account with the company and/or make payments on an electric bill. The program will be evaluated based on the number of veterans served during the pilot and the effectiveness in helping end homelessness.
  • Energy efficiency education will pinpoint customers who receive assistance paying their electric bill and mail them information regarding measures they can take to save energy and reduce bills. The mailing will provide information regarding programs offered to assist commonwealth customers with energy conservation including those offered by Appalachian and by agencies in the area. The educational mailing will include an offer for a free energy conservation kit that includes compact fluorescent light bulbs, high efficiency aerators, and LED night lights.
  • A multi·family residential pilot project will weatherize and improve the energy efficiency of a selected apartment building. The project will be studied to determine the energy savings achieved and an evaluation of tenant savings and impact on bill payments. The weatherization may include air sealing of the dwelling and duct work and improvements to the heating and cooling system. Energy efficiency measures include lighting upgrades, high efficiency faucet aerators, water heater upgrades and auto-off power strips. The evaluation includes a report of the costs of each component of the upgrade and expected savings, the actual energy usage for each unit before and after the upgrade, and the unit's payment record before and after the upgrade.

In 2014 and 2015, Appalachian Power said it received approval from the SCC and planned or initiated a number of new residential energy efficiency programs in Virginia, including a low-income weatherization program, home performance assessments and rebates, appliance recycling, discounts for energy efficient lighting and appliances, efficiency incentives for manufactured housing, and an air conditioning summer peak demand reduction program.