Entergy's Energy Smart Program Helps New Orleanians Save Money
NEW ORLEANS – Spring break is almost over and temperatures are creeping into the lower 80s, which means … summer is almost here. Within a few weeks, locals will begin cranking up the AC in an effort to stay cool, and as a result, left dreading their next electricity bill.
But Entergy New Orleans customers can relax a bit, because the company has teamed up with the New Orleans City Council to help them save energy and money, and receive incentives along the way.
Through their Energy Smart program, customers are encouraged to perform energy-saving upgrades in their homes and businesses.
Since 2011, Entergy New Orleans’ team has worked with residents, business owners, facility managers, and trade ally contractors to identify eligible upgrade opportunities; and provide cash incentives or rebates for completing those eligible upgrades.
“Our third-party contractors will come to your home or business and help you identify energy-efficient measures that can reduce your electrical usage, and ultimately lower your bill,” said Ross Thevenot, Entergy New Orleans’ energy efficiency project manager, noting that the program is open to all residential and commercial customers that receive electrical service from the company.
Commercial customers include small businesses, non-profit organizations, large commercial and industrial facilities, schools, and publicly funded buildings.
“The participants in the program save money in a couple of different ways,” said Derek Mills, Entergy New Orleans’ manager of demand-side management. “First, they are able to receive incentives and rebates on the actual projects that they’ve performed in their homes or businesses. So if a customer gets a duct sealing project or an attic sealing project done, then our rebates will reduce the cost that the customer will likely incur.”
Mills said they perform these services for free for income-qualified residential customers.“The other way customers benefit is that, once these projects are completed, they are more energy-efficient, which can help lower their energy usage in the future,” said Mills.
Entergy New Orleans works with local retailers to make energy-efficient appliances more affordable for Energy Smart program participants. For example, residents can buy an ENERGY STAR refrigerator and receive a $50 rebate or receive LED light bulbs at a reduced price at participating stores.
Business customers can receive valuable cash incentives for performing energy-efficient upgrades in their offices or facilities. Incentives are available for equipment upgrades such as lighting and lighting controls, HVAC upgrades, chillers and motors.
Home-energy reports, or scorecards, let residential customers discover what’s driving their home’s energy use, compare their use to that of their neighbor’s, and see how it’s influenced by changes in the weather. According to Energy Smart, 50 percent of an average home's energy use is affected by the weather.
In 2018, Energy Smart saved over 48 million kilowatt-hours and paid more than $5.6 million in incentives across residential and commercial customers.
Prospective clients can register for the program at energysmartnola.com and schedule an assessment with an energy-efficiency expert who will walk them through the subsequent money-saving steps. And when summer finally arrives, they can chill without the caveat of paying a fortune.
Suzanne Pfefferle Tafur is the associate news editor of BizNewOrleans.com. Follow her on Twitter @SuzPfefferle.