Cold cash for warm homes

Rich Prewitt
Rich Prewitt
An example of how a home loses warm and cool air through cracks and openings in the outer coverings of the wall.
An example of how a home loses warm and cool air through cracks and openings in the outer coverings of the wall.

By Bobbie Poynter

Cumberland Valley Electric Coop members can now make money while spending less money on the electric bills.
Cumberland Valley Electric Coop is offering cash incentive (rebate) programs to its members for making their own homes more energy efficient. These programs have been set up to help make their members feel more comfortable at home while paying out less for their electric bills.

“The only way that homeowners can help themselves is to take advantage of any program that can help them have a smaller electric bill,” said Rich Prewitt, Cumberland Valley Electric Director of Member Services.

All of the programs benefit the member owners, not the company, Prewitt said. Cumberland Valley Electric, he explained, is a rural electrical co-op set up so that people out in the country and farms can get electric service similar to those in the surrounding cities.

“If we can reduce your usage, then we can reduce what we have to buy, said Prewitt. “As a non-profit organization, we do not have our own power plant. We buy our electricity from East Kentucky Power Cooperative.”

The energy programs being offered by CVE are specifically geared toward areas where people may be unknowingly throwing away their money.

“We’d rather our members get a little savings and spend it elsewhere rather than send it to us,” said Prewitt. “If you can save $10, $15 or even $100 of your income and put it back in your wallet, it just makes sense.”

A couple of the simplest programs being offered by CVE are the light bulb and caulk giveaway programs. CVE is giving away new energy-efficient LED lights to its members to replace old incandescent bulbs throughout the house. And for those small, easy to fill gaps, CVE has caulking to give away for the asking.

“Simple things like replacing all your home’s light bulbs with CSL or LED lights could save you over $100 a year on your electric bill,” said Prewitt.

Aside from the incentive of earning a little instant cash, there are the long-term advantages of participating in CVE’s rebate programs.

“Over the year’s seasonal changes, homeowners will begin to notice a difference in the comfort of their home, along with a reduced electric bill,” said Prewitt. “There may also be an advantage to helping you sell your home when you can explain to prospective buyers what you have done to make this a more energy-efficient home.”

Following is a list of the programs being offered by Cumberland Valley Electric.

Any members wishing to learn more about or participate in any of the programs can either call Cumberland Valley Electric at 528-2677 or visit

Button Up Program

CVE will pay the homeowner $40 for every 1,000 BTU (the equivalent of burning 1,000 matches) saved with simple fixes, like adding insulation, changing out drafty or single pane windows or older doors, or even caulking.

Heat Pump Retrofit Program

CVE pays homeowners to change their low efficient electric heating units to high efficient heat pumps.

Light bulb giveaway

CVE is giving away energy-efficient LED lights to replace old incandescent light bulbs, which burn hotter, use much more energy, and burn out quicker.

Touchstone Energy Home Rebate – new building specifications to make your house more energy efficient as you build it. Follow the checklist. CVE will check the checklist. The rebate is on a floating scale. By that home following the checklist, it is between 30-35 percent more efficient for the life of the home.

Go to to check on the program.

HVAC Duct Sealing Program – $250 rebate – this is to help homeowners pay to have the HVAC ductwork sealed. It was created to encourage homeowners to make sure they are not wasting the benefits of their heat pump. Go to to check on the program.

Simple Saver Program – Independent licensed electricians come to your home at your convenience and put a switch on your hot water heater, heat pump, or central air conditioning unit that allows the company generating heat to your home to remotely turn off those appliances during peak usage times. CVE will rebate yearly $10 for your hot water heater, $20 for central air or heat pumps, (each unit), as well as a $10 sign-on bonus to each homeowner in the program. Homeowners are always notified when the appliances will be turned off. There is no contract and homeowners can cancel at any time. To learn more about this particular program, call 1-800-305-5492 or visit

Coming in 2015 – Call CVE for a start state

Appliance recycling program – CVE will pay members $50 to come out and pick up old working refrigerators and freezers. Go to

Energy Star Appliance program –CVE will pay rebates to members on any Energy Star appliance purchase. Go to

Billinginsights Program

This is a link where you will take a survey. The program will instantly analyze where you are saving (or losing) money in your home. This is like taking a home energy audit or an in-depth analysis. This program helps the homemakers make changes to their home on their own time. You can utilize the information in any way you see fit. Go to