Kentucky Venues, which includes the Kentucky Exposition Center and Kentucky International Convention Center, is cashing in today on the results of its long-term, comprehensive program to reduce energy usage at the two facilities – earning nearly $400,000 in commercial rebates from Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company.
“We appreciate LG&E and KU working closely with us to identify facility upgrades,” said Kentucky Venues CEO Jason Rittenberry. “Not only do these improvements play a critical role in helping us remain competitive and keeping our facilities desirable, but the rebate dollars we’ve earned as a result help to make them more affordable.”
The venues’ combined 2.1 million square-feet of event space, plus outdoor demonstration sites, hosts clients from around the world and about 300 events each year. They generate what a recent study estimated at $483 million in economic impact annually and some 1,600 full-time positions in the community.
To keep pace with its evolving industry, the Kentucky State Fair Board, which governs both facilities, initiated an Energy and Efficiency Management Program in 2010 to reduce energy usage at the two venues. This also meant making them more comfortable and customizable for clients and patrons.
Over the last six years, the two facilities underwent a series of improvements that started first at KEC with lighting upgrades and moved into installing variable frequency drives to operate existing equipment more efficiently.
Other improvements at KEC have included installing a 750-ton high-efficiency chiller, new high-efficiency equipment pumps, motors and boilers, automated controls, and equipment that regulates the facility’s energy usage during certain times of the day.
“In addition to having an impact for the venue, the overall impact of upgrades here have a positive impact for our community,” said Jeff Myers, LG&E and KU manager of Energy Efficiency Operations. “We appreciate being our customers’ energy partner to help them achieve their goals and meet their energy needs.”
The LG&E and KU Commercial Rebate Program was approved in 2008 to encourage qualified commercial customers to replace inefficient equipment with high-efficiency lighting, motors, pumps and air conditioning equipment, as well as customized facility improvements that reduce at least one kilowatt of peak energy usage.
To date, participating commercial customers have earned $12.6 million in rebates. The program is approved through 2018 and is offered to LG&E and KU commercial customers who contribute to the Demand Side Management program as part of their monthly bills.