The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) approved an expansion of residential energy conservation and efficiency programs for Kentucky Power Company Wednesday. The expansion would allow the company to push programs for the installation of high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, said PSC spokesman Andrew Melnykovych. The commission issued the order late Wednesday afternoon, which will also allow revised surcharges believed to be a move that could result in lower bills for residential customers. The expanded programs are intended to replace inefficient heating units with heat pumps, which can use less energy. They include incentives of up to $400 for mobile home owners who make the switch, Melnykovych said. A similar program, with a $400 incentive as well, is available for owners of site-built homes who replace resistance heaters or old heat pumps with new units, while those who have bought new mobile homes could get up to $500 for upgrading. Power company officials say they hope to expand the programs to serve a total of 710 residential customers each year, about 200 more than those currently taking advantage of the incentives. Melnykovych said Wednesday the charge for residential customers electric bills would drop from .16 cents per kilowatt-hour to .08 cents per kilowatt-hour, with the program costing roughly $2.5 million annually. The order and related documents can be found on the PSC website, psc.ky.gov, and the case number is 2011-00055.