Special Subcommittee on Energy


Minutes of the<MeetNo1> 5th Meeting

of the 2005 Interim


<MeetMDY1> October 21, 2005


The<MeetNo2> 5th meeting of the Special Subcommittee on Energy was held on<Day> Friday,<MeetMDY2> October 21, 2005, at<MeetTime> 10:00 AM, in<Room> Room 149 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Tanya G Pullin, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.


Present were:


Members:<Members> Representative Tanya G Pullin, Co-Chair; Senators Charlie Borders, Denise Harper Angel, Ernie Harris, Vernie McGaha, Katie Stine, and Johnny Ray Turner; Representatives  Rocky Adkins, Eddie Ballard, Carolyn Belcher, James E Bruce, Dwight D Butler, J R Gray, Thomas Kerr, Fred Nesler, Tom Riner, and Brandon D Smith.


Legislative Guests:  Senator David Boswell and Representative Jim Gooch.


Guests:  Karen Reagor, Kentucky NEED Project; Eric Gregory, EKPC; Hayden Timmons, KAEC; Jason Bentley, Kentucky Office of Energy Policy; John Davies; Director , Division of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, Kentucky Office of Energy Policy; Jeff Hohman, East Kentucky Power Cooperative; Dr. Robert Fehr, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Kentucky; Cam Metcalf, Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center, University of Louisville; John Shupp, KPSC; Fereydoon Gorjian, KPSC; and Bill Doll, Progress Energy.


LRC Staff:  Todd Littlefield, Bill Bowker, and Rhonda Carter.


The subcommittee approved the minutes of the September 16, 2005, meeting. 

Chair Pullin introduced John Davies, Director, Division of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency; Jeff Hohman, Manager of Marketing and Natural Resources, East Kentucky Power Cooperative; Dr. Robert Fehr, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Kentucky; and Cam Metcalf, Executive Director, Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center, University of Louisville.


John Davies gave a presentation on energy efficiency in Kentucky.  Mr. Davies discussed the administration's Comprehensive Energy Strategy.  He stated that the Comprehensive Energy Strategy was unveiled in February of 2005, and that the strategy focused on low-cost energy, energy resources, and environmental quality.


Mr. Davies pointed out that Kentucky's electric prices are 40 percent below the national average.  He stated that Kentucky is the sixth highest per capita primary energy consuming state in the nation. He emphasized that Kentuckians energy bills are out of proportion to our energy rates. He compared rate differences between Kentucky and Indiana. He noted that although Kentucky's rates are 18 percent lower, our residents paid only six percent less on their electric bills.


Mr. Davies informed the committee of natural gas price increases from October 2003 to October 2005.  Prices increased from $4.29 per MMBtu in October of 2003 to $13.76 in October 2005.


Mr. Davies explained that the focus of the Division of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (DRE3) was the residential, industrial, and commercial sectors, schools, and state government.


Mr. Davies pointed out the 101 active Energy Star partners in Kentucky. This number is growing in the public and private sectors.  He discussed the impact on Kentucky and recommended three items to the Energy Committee.  He recommended an Annual Energy Report from the state, universities, and schools; to build energy efficiency into new state buildings; and to encourage energy star partnerships in communities and businesses.


Representative Gooch asked if the Office of Energy Policy was looking at or considering geothermal in Kentucky.


Mr. Davies stated that several of Kentucky schools are currently using geothermal heat.


Representative Adkins mentioned that a large geothermal installation is in  the Elliott County prison. He explained the geothermal process and it's efficiency.


Senator McGaha asked if the Audit System could determine through other states what Kentucky could do to alleviate higher costs. 


Chair Pullin welcomed a middle school class from Russell, Kentucky visiting the committee meeting. Senator Borders stated that it was a privilege to have the students visit.


Jeff Hohman, Manager of Marketing and Natural Resources for East Kentucky Power Cooperative spoke on the historical prices of coal, natural gas, and sulfur dioxide emission allowances. 


Mr. Hohman reviewed percentage increases on historical coal, natural gas, and S02 allowances since January of 2000.  He stated that coal has increased 68 percent, natural gas has increased 508 percent, and S02 has increased 460 percent.


Mr. Hohman referred to the Touchstone handout that was in each member's folder and discussed some of the energy saving techniques available.  He stated that Touchstone Energy Homes have quality insulation, reduced air infiltration, controlled ventilation, and that they have highly efficient heating and cooling.


Mr. Hohman discussed an Energy Audit Program.  He stated that there will be about 200 audits done this year.  He stated that you can have an energy audit done by the professionals at your local cooperative.  They will help you  determine where your energy dollars are being spent and how to save energy in your home or business.


Senator Stine asked if there were education programs for builders.  Mr. Hohman stated that some builders are eager to participate.  Senator Stine asked about identification of homes that have been built using the energy-savings methods.  Mr. Hohman stated that in homes that are Energy Star, there is a sign or plaque, sometimes by the electric breaker box.


Senator Borders commented that we have to be innovative and think outside of the box and applauded the Cooperative for their efforts.


Dr. Robert Fehr with Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at the University of Kentucky gave a presentation on the Energy Efficiency Outreach Program. 


Dr. Fehr gave percentages on KY CES Funding Support through federal, state, and county grants and contracts. Dr. Fehr discussed extension staffing and stated that there are county offices in every county, 406 agents, 113 program assistants, and 208 support staff.  He stated that there are 167 State Specialists and associates.


Dr. Fehr spoke on the Energy Outreach Program and how to create awareness. The program has a booth at the state fair, home and garden shows, home builders shows, home builder association meetings, energy expos, realtor association meetings, and Rural Electric Cooperative Annual  Meetings.


Dr. Fehr then discussed partnering with other training programs.  He stated that there was training available for the county extension agents, home builders, realtors, and others.


Dr. Fehr discussed promoting energy efficiency through outreach programs and informational resources such as handouts, CDs such as those included in members folders, and their energy website (ces.ca.uky.edu).


Cam Metcalf, Executive Director of the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center (KPPC) at the University of Louisville was the next speaker.


KPPC was established in 1994 through legislative mandate (KRS 224.46-305 et.seq.).  The KPPC has a statewide technical assistance program based at the University of Louisville's Speed School of Engineering, and is funded by companies that generate solid and liquid hazardous waste.


The KPPC is the commonwealth's primary resource for technical information and assistance to improve environmental performance.  The Center facilitates and promotes the proactive implementation of management systems and technologies to improve the competitiveness of businesses, industries, and other organizations.


Mr. Metcalf described the role of the Energy Assessment Center.  He stated that the Center conducts energy audits, trains students in energy management, supports increasing the numbers of energy management professionals in the state, and improves economic development in Kentucky.


Mr. Metcalf discussed energy auditing and said that there was interest from commercial and industrial interests as well as agricultural and public buildings.


Mr. Metcalf stated that the Energy Assessment Center (EAC) has 26 schools across the country participating in the EAC Program although there are none in Kentucky. 


Mr. Metcalf gave examples of the KPPC Energy Audits and cost savings.  He noted that 22 audits done between 2001 and 2005 show a total savings of $1,200,000.


Chair Pullin emphasized that this winter there will not be enough LIHEAP funding to offset high energy prices. She asked what can be done to inform low-income folks about energy-saving techniques that might lower their heating bills.


John Davies stated that they have worked with CHR and the US Department of Energy. They are running public service announcements on television and provide a toll free number.


Representative Bruce asked if the governor could help to raise the profile of these issues.


Chair Pullin asked if the committee would support a letter to the governor.  Representative Bruce made the motion and Senator Harper-Angel seconded the motion. The motion passed on a voice vote


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.