Frankfort, Ky. (March 30, 2005) – The annual Central Kentucky Home & Garden Show, which is held in Lexington Center’s Heritage Hall and Rupp Arena, will begin Thursday, March 31, and run through Sunday, April 3. The massive event will feature nearly 600 booths covering about 150,000 square feet and offering a myriad of things to see, do and experience.
Two highlights of this year’s showcase are the ENERGY STAR home exhibits presented by Blue Grass Energy and the University of Kentucky (UK) Cooperative Extension Service.
Blue Grass Energy will be unveiling its Touchstone Energy Home program to promote construction of ENERGY STAR homes in the Blue Grass Energy service area. ENERGY STAR qualified homes are independently verified to be at least 30 percent more energy-efficient than homes built to the 1993 national Model Energy Code.
Energy-efficient features of ENERGY STAR qualified new homes keep out excessive heat, cold, and noise, and ensure consistent temperatures between and across rooms. ENERGY STAR homes also use substantially less energy for heating, cooling and water heating.
In the past, Blue Grass Energy promoted energy efficiency by paying rebates to consumers who installed high-efficiency equipment such as heat pumps and water heaters. Rebates worked, but many other energy-efficient components of the home were being ignored.
To remedy that, Blue Grass Energy implemented the Touchstone Energy Home program this year. It will give a measured energy efficiency evaluation for new homes that are rated. Factors such as insulation, air infiltration, computation of the home’s conduction of heat and, specifically, the heating and air system’s ductwork leakage will be evaluated.
Each energy adviser at Blue Grass Energy has been through extensive training and has obtained certification to rate homes. Energy advisors will be able to register homes with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and affix an ENERGY STAR label to verify superior energy efficiency. Each home that qualifies will receive a Touchstone Energy Home certificate, along with an ENERGY STAR certificate backed by the EPA. Rating by any other certified home energy rater would cost $600 to $700.
Due to the high administrative cost associated with this program, Blue Grass Energy will support the Touchstone Energy Home/ENERGY STAR Home program in lieu of equipment rebates to help its members enjoy a more comfortable and energy efficient new home.
Another highlight of the Central Kentucky Home & Garden Show is the ENERGY STAR home display from the UK Cooperative Extension Service and the Kentucky Division of Energy (KDOE). The ENERGY STAR exhibit features a home model (144 square feet) that demonstrates construction and remodeling techniques that can help reduce energy costs. The model shows 70 opportunities to save energy, including topics such as installing ventilation, rough-in wiring, insulation and ductwork. The exhibit also displays ENERGY STAR lighting and windows. UK and KDOE began a partnership in 2002 to provide energy efficiency and renewable energy education to Kentucky’s consumers.
"ENERGY STAR products use less energy than the traditional products in your home," said Lola Lyle, ENERGY STAR Program Manager for KDOE. "By using less energy, the ENERGY STAR brand helps consumers contribute to reducing air pollution and protecting the earth's climate. KDOE encourages all new home buyers to ask for the ENERGY STAR brand." For more information about ENERGY STAR, see the ENERGY STAR Web site at www.energystar.gov or the Kentucky Division of Energy Web site at www.energy.ky.gov.