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The Louisiana Public Service Commission awarded $17.3 million of customer money from 2017 to 2019 to Jason Hewitt, the personal filmmaker of Commissioner Eric Skrmetta, to develop energy efficiency projects for local governments, most of which were not projected to cost-effectively save energy. Skrmetta and Hewitt, owner of Films in Motion, have worked together in film production since at least 2018, according to IMDB. Brilliant Efficiencies, an energy efficiency company owned by Hewitt, was awarded 50 of the 89 total awarded projects, or 56% of all awarded projects, from 2017 through 2019 for the Public Service Commission’s (PSC) “Public Entities” program. The program awarded full grants for energy efficiency projects to local governments if the Commissioner whose district included that project selected it for approval.Of the 50 projects awarded to Brilliant Efficiencies between 2017 and 2019, 27 failed to save enough energy to pay for themselves within 10 years. A ten-year payback period is a benchmark often used by the energy efficiency industry to determine whether a project is an effective use of customer money. Because the Public Entities program covered the full cost of the projects, recipients of the awards did not have to consider a payback period as would a regular customer insulating their home or a small business upgrading their lighting. Instead, utility ratepayers were covering the costs.

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