In April 2008, Kentucky enacted legislation that expanded its net metering law by requiring utilities to offer net metering to customers that generate electricity with photovoltaic (PV), wind, biomass, biogas or hydroelectric systems up to 30 kilowatts (kW) in capacity. The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) issued rules on January 8, 2009. Utilities had 90 days from that date to file tariffs that include all terms and conditions of their net metering programs, including interconnection.
Kentucky Administrative Regulation title 805 promulgates the rules and regulations pertaining to natural gas production in Kentucky. In addition to KAR title 405, chapter 30, which pertains to any oil shale operation, these regulations govern natural gas operations throughout the state.
The Kentucky Solar Partnership (KSP) and the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) partner to offer low interest loans for the installation of solar water heaters. Loans cover the full equipment and installation cost. Flexible rate loans and terms are available. They may cover 100% of the equipment and labor costs for solar hot water systems. Approved loans require a 5% down payment. Solar collectors must be rated by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) or industry equivalent.
Four rural utility cooperatives in Eastern Kentucky (Big Sandy RECC, Fleming-Mason RECC, Grayson RECC, and Jackson Energy) work with MACED to provide energy retrofits as part of utility service under the KY Energy Retrofit Rider. The program, How$martKY, addresses a barrier that households and small businesses face when making an up-front investment in energy efficiency improvements such as insulation, air-sealing and HVAC upgrades.
The Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) offers loans to small and mid-sized businesses, non-profits, schools and municipalities to improve energy efficiency through its Energy Efficient Enterprises program. Commercial loans can be used to purchase a wide-variety of equipment and to pay for energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy installations. The micro-loans (up to $10,000, paid back within 4 years) may be used for lighting upgrades and the purchase of energy efficient, ENERGY STAR appliances.
In partnership with Community Ventures Corporation, a non-profit community based lender, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development has expanded the Kentucky Micro-Enterprise Loan (KMEL) program, which provides business loans and valuable technical assistance to entrepreneurs interested in starting or expanding a business.
Meade County RECC offers rebates to residential members who install energy-efficient systems and equipment. New homebuilders can also access rebates for installing energy-efficient equipment through the Touchstone Energy New Home Program. Members and new homebuilders can apply for rebates for installing Energy Star-qualified products that include:
Louisville Gas and Electric's Home Energy Rebate program provides incentives for residential customers to upgrade to energy efficiency home appliances and heat and air conditioning equipment. Rebates are offered for refrigerators and freezers, clothes washers, dishwashers, window film, heat pump water heaters, central air conditioners, and air-source heat pumps. The amount of rebates offered per customer account per year is limited, and varies by type of equipment. An in-home energy analysis incentive program is also available to residences.
Louisville Gas and Electric (LGE) offers rebates to all commercial customers who pay a DSM charge on monthly bills. Rebates are available on lighting measures, sensors, air conditioners, heat pumps, motors, pumps, variable frequency drives, chillers, chilled water resets, thermal storage systems, and an optional and free energy audit. Customers must complete and sign an application form prior to project completion. Measure type, quantity and estimated completion date must be included.
The Linked Deposit Program provides loan financing for small businesses of up to $100,000 for up to 7 years. The State Investment Commission invests funds from the state's Abandoned Property Cash Account at a set rate with eligible lenders. The financial institution lends the proceeds of the funds to eligible small-business borrowers at an attractive rate. To be eligible, the business must be: a for-profit entity, headquartered and maintain offices and operate facilities in Kentucky, employ fewer than 50 full-time employees, and have gross earnings of $1 million or less per year.