Meter's running: Kentucky energy cost low, use high

We've got to change our megawatt-wasting ways. Kentucky's energy-efficiency problem, experts say, is that low electrical rates have lulled us into lackadaisical light-switch-flipping.

The average man, woman and child in Kentucky uses 70 percent more electricity than the average American, according to numbers compiled by Robert Ukeily, a Berea attorney who represents environmental groups. The average Kentucky home uses 24 percent more electricity than the national average. The average Kentucky industrial customer uses 427 percent more -- a result of the state's use of low electrical rates to draw aluminum smelters and other energy-hungry industries.

Several environmental groups invited efficiency guru Glen Cannon to Kentucky this week to meet with executives at East Kentucky Power Cooperative, which is adding to its J.K. Smith Station in Clark County. The groups argue that East Kentucky Power could avoid the expense and the environmental toll of more coal-fired electricity by aggressively stressing customer-driven efficiency.

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