The state Public Service Commission has approved an expansion of Duke Energy Kentucky's energy-efficiency programs.
The commission approved Duke's plan to consolidate 13 programs to 10 and to introduce three new offerings.
The new programs offer:
■ Cash incentives of as much as $30 per appliance, limited to two a year, for residential customers who recycle functional but old and inefficient refrigerators and freezers.
■ Energy audits and energy conservation assistance in low-income neighborhoods.
■ Reports for residential customers comparing home energy use in their homes to those of similar nearby homes. The reports will make suggestions on how to lower energy use.
In a statement, the PSC said Duke's various programs include energy audits, energy education efforts and financial incentives to customers who let the utility remotely turn off their air conditioners during peak-use times during the summer.
As part of the PSC's approval, the utility will increase the surcharges assessed on residential electric bills for the programs. A customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours monthly will see the surcharge increase by about $1.80 a month.
Duke serves about 135,000 electric customers and 95,000 natural gas customers in Northern Kentucky, in Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton and Pendleton counties.