LG&E Teams Up to Power Down

We don’t like to get news from LG&E here in Louisville. Last time we heard from our local energy monolith it was to say that our electric bills will skyrocket 18.3 percent by 2016. The only reason I’m not protesting and living in the dark is because the rate increase is supposed to save the planet from toxic power-plant fumes—and because sometimes a girl just needs a hairdryer.

But LG&E’s most recent announcement stands to prompt little groaning, and perhaps even a few cheers from Louisville-centered corporations. EnerNOC, a company that provides energy cost-containment services, will partner with LG&E and KU to reduce energy expenditure at specific sites across our city’s power grid.

The sites will be buildings that normally suck up huge quantities of juice from the LG&E grid. Using a program called DemandSMART, EnerNOC will install a box that monitors a building’s or company’s use of electricity. That information is sent back to the EnerNOC team. If energy-use spikes at a given moment, team EnerNOC springs into action upping or lowering thermostats, dimming the lights and suspending high-voltage activities for a few hours.

These participating companies not only reap energy-cost savings, but might also get a sweet little incentive for allowing big brother to watch their voltage. According to EnerNOC, this kind of cost-containment helps suppliers like LG&E to avoid building more plants or making upgrades to meet demand, thereby stabilizing energy bills for customers like you and me.

Fortunately, this announcement seems like a good one from our energy supplier supreme. If it means less fume-spewing power-plants for Kentucky skies, then I’m definitely on board. I just wish someone would give me kick-backs for lowering the thermostat.

LG&E's Cane Run power plant