Energy-efficient lights, fixtures approved for NC apartment complexes

North Carolina regulators approved an energy efficiency program Thursday that will supply free materials to landlords in the Duke Energy Progress service area.

The program, approved by the N.C. Utilities Commission, will distribute energy-efficient light bulbs, faucet aerators and low-flow shower heads to multifamily housing complexes, with the ultimate intent of getting residents to reduce energy usage.

Duke Progress’s newly approved program is expected to become available next year; Duke Energy Carolinas’ multifamily program went into effect a year ago.

About 20 percent of Duke’s 2.7 million North Carolina residential customers live in multifamily housing. The two Duke efficiency programs are expected to result in about 1.3 million bulbs, aerators and shower heads installed in the next few years.

The multifamily program in North Carolina is expected to cost Duke Progress about $17 million in lost electricity sales and cut Duke Carolinas power sales by about $17.7 million over three to five years.

Duke will recoup the cost of free materials and lost power sales through utility bills.

In approving the program, the Utilities Commission said it is in the public interest and is likely to encourage reductions in energy usage.