Month: October 2019

When a heat pump is the right choice

There are several types of heat pumps—ductless mini-split heat pumps and central system air-source heat pumps are the most common.

The ductless mini-split heat pump system, a good solution in replacing inefficient older baseboard heaters, has a compressor outside that is connected with refrigerant lines to the blowers inside. A ductless system can serve up to four zones, so it can heat a small home or be combined with another heating system in a larger home. It’s a great option for a home that does not have a duct system, or if the existing duct system is inefficient or poorly designed.

The second option, the central system air-source heat pump, can be an efficient option if the existing duct system is in good shape. This system’s compressor is also outside, but in this case, it’s connected to the home’s duct system to distribute cold or warm air through the existing vents. 

A third option is a ground-source, or geothermal heat pump, which uses a system that taps into heat that’s naturally underground year-round. Geothermal systems are typically a more expensive investment up front, but they are the most energy efficient and cost effective of all the options.

Pumping up advantages

Heat pumps usually are much more efficient than electric resistance systems and can be a solid solution in a variety of circumstances, from a manufactured home or construction addition to a replacement for a broken or inefficient heating and cooling system. They’re also becoming more popular for central heating in new construction.

If you currently are using electric resistance, heating oil or propane gas, a heat pump can reduce heating costs up to 75%. It also can cut cooling costs. A ductless mini-split heat pump offers heating and cooling flexibility because it can serve multiple zones or be used with another system. 

Safety also is a factor. Heat pumps eliminate the need to burn fuels inside your home and exhaust combustion gases. There’s no risk of carbon monoxide or gas leaks that can come from flaws in a system that runs on natural gas, propane, fuel oil or wood.

PAT KEEGAN and BRAD THIESSEN write on energy efficiency for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Concern for community

October is National Co-op Month, when cooperatives across the country celebrate the many ways co-ops are unique and more importantly, the members they serve. Your co-op was built by, belongs to and is led by people in your local community.

One of the seven cooperative principles is “concern for community,” and Kentucky’s electric cooperatives demonstrate this commitment in many ways.

This year co-ops again partnered with Governor Matt Bevin’s office on Beautify the Bluegrass, promoting the initiative in Kentucky Living and showing pride in our hometowns with some heavy lifting and TLC for Main Streets, neglected parks and welcome signs. Shown above, Kentucky Electric Cooperatives and Kentucky Living teams partnered with Brightside to weed, plant and mulch two “BrightSites,” or mini green oases, located on major highways in Jefferson County.

Co-ops also demonstrate their commitment to community by advocating for you in Frankfort and Washington, D.C. Right now, co-ops are concerned that state lawmakers might try to add a sales tax to your residential electric bill.

Please join our grassroots network of local co-op consumer-members at and add your voice to ours to educate elected officials on why rural Kentucky would be especially impacted by such a tax.


Chris Perry, Kentucky Electric Cooperatives President and CEO.

Kentucky’s electric co-ops launch to oppose sales tax on power bills

Bevin and Beshear weigh in on controversial sales tax proposal

(October 1, 2019) – Kentucky Electric Cooperatives is speaking out against any potential sales tax on Kentuckians’ power bills. The October issue of Kentucky Living magazine reveals both a new grassroots website against such a tax and an exclusive Q&A with Governor Matt Bevin and his Democratic challenger Andy Beshear, which includes their respective positions on the sales tax issue. will serve as an educational landing place for local, state, and federal issues that could affect the more than 1.5 million co-op members across the Commonwealth. The platform also allows Kentuckians to communicate directly with legislators.

Under current law, residential electric bills are exempt from the state’s 6% sales tax. However, as the General Assembly continues to consider new sources of state revenue, potentially removing some exemptions from the sales tax, co-ops are cautioning legislators to protect the exemption on residential electric bills. Kentucky Electric Cooperatives is opposed to adding any sales tax to power bills and is using to encourage lawmakers to leave that exemption alone.

“Adding additional taxes to electric bills would have a devastating impact on rural Kentuckians as a sales tax could cost some consumer members hundreds of dollars per year,” stated Chris Perry, CEO and President of Kentucky Electric Cooperatives. “Not only would a tax impact household budgets, it would also stymie economic development in those areas.”

When recently asked by Kentucky Living if electric cooperatives could count on their support to keep residential electric sales exempt from a sales tax, both candidates for governor provided replies.

Governor Matt Bevin: “I do not support taxing utilities that people need.”

Attorney General Andy Beshear: “Tax reform in Kentucky shouldn’t burden working families who are already struggling just to get by. My focus will be on closing sales tax loopholes for purchases of things like private jets and luxury yachts. Additionally, we have to stand up for consumers and hold utility companies accountable. Monthly energy bills should be reasonable and affordable, not the skyrocketing rates we have seen in many parts of Kentucky.”