Clark County

Houses to get energy makeovers

On Wednesday, which is Earth Day, more than a dozen modest-income houses in seven Kentucky counties will get energy efficiency makeovers.

At four houses, in Winchester, Richmond, Jeffersonville and Morehead, the public will be invited in to see the improvements and pick up free "Clean Energy Kits."

The kits will include energy-efficient light bulbs and tips on how to save energy. There also will be information on how people can sign up to have improvements made to their own homes.

A hybrid Louisville TARC bus will take volunteers and dignitaries to the homes that will have open houses.

First lady Jane Beshear will be among the dignitaries. Work on the houses will be done by professionals; the volunteers, including high school and college students, will help distribute the kits and information.

This is part of the Kentucky Clean Energy Corps program that state officials kicked off in February.

The goal is to use federal stimulus money to retro fit 10,000 homes across the state.

Jonathan Miller, the state Finance and Administration Cabinet secretary, is spearheading the effort. Miller said the program will lower energy costs for the people who can least afford high utility bills. It also will help spur the economy by training and employing people who conduct energy audits and do rehabilitation work.

The program is for people who have low or moderate incomes. Miller said, however, that he hopes the notion of retrofitting houses to be more energy efficient will spread to people who don't qualify for assistance.

"We want middle- and upper-income families to understand how making these changes now can pay back in spades, not only in money, but for the environment," he said.

The open houses are:

■ 9 a.m., Voyles residence, 119 Colonial Park Drive, Winchester.

■ 10:30 a.m., Runyon residence, 223 Steep Street, Richmond.

■ 2:45 a.m., Johnson residence, 3180 Bedford Road, Jeffersonville.

■ 4 p.m., Callihan residence, 5040 Flemingsburg Road, Morehead.

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