- Associated Press - Saturday, June 27, 2015

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Some Kansas City Power & Light customers say a program that compares their energy use with their neighbors’ is a form of “energy shaming” that doesn’t help make homes more energy efficient.

But a KCP&L; executive defends the Home Energy Report pilot program, saying the critics are a vocal minority and most customers appreciate receiving reports that detail their homes’ energy use and offer tips for being more efficient, The Kansas City Star reported (http://bit.ly/1dfRmYt ).

Under the program, customers get an outline of their efficient energy consumption goals and a comparison of their energy use with that of 100 neighbors with similar-sized homes. The reports also offer tips on how to save energy.

Susanne McDaniel of Kansas City said she carefully monitors her energy consumption and the reports note that few of her neighborhood’s homes are energy efficient.

“I know I’m doing the best that I can,” she said. “I think they’re a waste of paper and a waste of postage.”

Brian File, senior manager of products and services with KCP&L;, said the utility believes the program is a success because it reminds people about their energy use and allows them to take action. He said only 0.6 percent of customers in the program have chosen to drop it. About 175,000 Missouri customers receive home energy reports roughly every other month.

“We think that’s really pretty good from an overall satisfaction perspective,” File said.

Cindy Tully of Kansas City said the program can be unfair because of the differences in home sizes and the ages of appliances used in the homes. She said she has a reasonable utility bill for her home’s size and she’s not sure what the utility expects homeowners to do to save energy.

“We all know that we’re leaking energy,” Tully said. “That’s really a downer for a lot of people who are trying to do the best they can. “

File said customers who aren’t satisfied with their home energy report can go online and change their comparison criteria, which would help the utility refine the reports.

The program is not available in Kansas, although KCP&L; is considering expanding it.

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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