By LYNN LOFTON
With chilly days ahead followed by a long, hot summer, there are ways to help your home or business increase energy efficiency. Entergy Mississippi’s Entergy Solutions programs are available for residential, small business, commercial, industrial and governmental customers. Residential programs are open for all residential customers on an ongoing basis and the company begins taking applications for the Business Solutions program in January. The programs were started in 2014.
“Entergy Mississippi’s offerings are designed to educate customers and introduce them to energy efficient products and services,” says Entergy spokeswoman Mara Hartmann. “They include a variety of opportunities ranging from something as simple as changing out light bulbs to installing new technology that helps you better manage your energy usage. Besides improving energy efficiency, most of these steps also improve the comfort of your home or workplace.”
Homeowners, small business owners and commercial or industrial customers who want to save money on their energy bills can take steps to improve their energy efficiency. “Everything from small tweaks such as caulking and weather-stripping to major investments such as replacing an old HVAC unit or retro-fitting a building with new LED lighting fixtures can help save money on an electric bill,” Hartmann said. “Our experts can provide recommendations for changes that can result in the most savings for that particular customer.”
The most popular part of the program, according to Hartmann, is the recently launched online marketplace where customers can purchase energy-efficient products as well as enroll in some of Entergy’s programs. “This allows customers to go to one site to request a home energy audit as well as purchase a smart thermostat for their home,” she said. “Even better, for those products eligible for an incentive through our programs, the incentive is deducted from the purchase price during checkout, eliminating the need to mail in a form and receipt and wait for a rebate check.”
Costs to customers vary by program. For example, participation in the residential home energy audit is free, energy-efficient appliances can be purchased at significant discounts and customers can have their air conditioners tuned up at no cost. “For larger ticket investments, the programs make higher efficiency units more affordable, improving efficiency for a longer time. Our experts can help guide customers through the costs and benefits of our programs,” Hartmann explained.
She says Entergy has had robust participation in all of their programs from each customer segment. “Customers can participate in multiple programs and we encourage all customers to take advantage of our programs and their benefits,” she added. “Our programs have saved 138,361,000 kWh (kilowatt hours) and 27,349,000 kW (kilowatts) since 2014. That is enough energy to power nearly 9,500 houses per year or the equivalent of taking 8,414 average cars off the road.”
Entergy partners with trade allies across its service territory. “Our local partners are one of the more important parts of our programs,” Hartmann said. “In fact, one of the added benefits of our programs has been the development of local businesses and the growth of existing businesses, increasing the skills and opportunities for Mississippi’s work force. Where applicable, a list of participating trade allies is available on our website.”
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