Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Joins Other State Leaders to Discuss Energy Action Plan for Kentucky
Governor’s Office of Energy Policy, Duke Energy host energy efficiency summit
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher joined Kentucky business, utility, governmental, academic, consumer and environmental leaders today in Lexington to discuss an action plan for energy efficiency at the “Utilities and Energy Efficiency: The Fifth Fuel” conference.
“Ensuring sufficient energy resources is critical to Kentucky’s economic well-being and growth – it’s our foundation, but it’s our children’s future,” said Governor Fletcher. “While our state is blessed with abundant coal resources and reasonably-priced electricity, we must continue to find more creative ways to use energy wisely. The economic and environmental benefits of energy efficiency can only be achieved by everyone working together.”
Governor Fletcher also announced a Kentucky energy efficiency and renewable energy research and development solicitation for $500,000. It is designed to help build intellectual capacity in energy efficiency and renewable energy at the state’s public universities. In addition, it will establish a corps of students, teachers and professionals that have energy efficiency expertise and who can serve as a technical resource for all Kentuckians.
The conference was organized by the Governor’s Office of Energy Policy and Duke Energy. Participants discussed initiatives that can be undertaken in Kentucky to address the challenges to increasing energy efficiency and consumer awareness.
“Market conditions are driving the need to make energy efficiency a fundamental part of our nation’s energy plans going forward,” said Ted Schultz, vice president for Energy Efficiency at Duke Energy. “At our company, we call energy efficiency our ‘fifth fuel’ because we put it on equal terms with our coal, nuclear, natural gas and renewable power plants in meeting our customers' growing demand for power.”
The summit reviewed the “business case” for energy efficiency, including benefits to consumers, the economy, the environment and utilities. Proposed energy efficiency initiatives for Kentucky were discussed and action items were identified, involving an array of consumer, environmental, business and utility stakeholders. It also focused on new technologies and collaborative efforts to encourage more energy efficiency, as well as the challenges of consumer awareness and motivation.
The summit used the National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency, which was released this summer, as a springboard for the development of action in Kentucky. Duke is also working with RESOLVE, a non-profit organization, to conceptualize and build support for implementing the action plan on a national scale.
For more information about the summit, visit http://www.energy.ky.gov/fifthfuelconference.htm.