Arizona Corporation Commission revives energy efficiency commitments in decisive resource planning vote
Utilities directed to expand energy waste reduction programs to save customers money. Additional resource planning reforms could deliver billions in savings.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ellen Zuckerman, SWEEP | firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-610-2989
[PHOENIX, AZ] – The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) applauds the Arizona Corporation Commission for its decision to approve the energy resource plans of Arizona Public Service Company (APS) and Tucson Electric Power (TEP) with the addition of key reforms that could unlock billions in savings.
As part of their decision, utility regulators directed APS and TEP to expand energy saving initiatives over the next three years. As a result, customers will gain access to more rebates and services to replace old air conditioners, swap out inefficient water heaters, and otherwise cut energy waste.
Over the last decade, similar initiatives have saved Arizonans more than $1.4 billion while avoiding the need for fourteen new gas plants.
Regulators also adopted a suite of suggestions recommended by SWEEP to ensure future resource plans are unbiased and maximize customer savings. For example, both utilities were ordered to modernize their planning practices to eliminate inefficient power plant operations that were routinely used in the past (such as “must run” designations).
These recommendations were developed as a result of independent modeling that SWEEP conducted in partnership with Strategen Consulting, a leading energy research firm.
Finally, regulators directed both utilities to improve transparency and information sharing in the future by expanding stakeholder access to utility modeling software and data.
These reforms were all advanced by Commissioners Anna Tovar, Sandra Kennedy, and Jim O’Connor through various amendments they proposed. Chairwoman Lea Marquez Peterson joined them in okaying the overall decision with these improvements incorporated.
“The customer interest prevailed today thanks to regulators Anna Tovar, Sandra Kennedy, and Jim O’Connor who championed efforts to eliminate energy waste,” said Ellen Zuckerman, SWEEP’s Utility Program Director. “Now more than ever we need proven investments that pay for themselves and create local jobs, and this decision does just that.”
“For far too long Arizonans have been left in the dark when it comes to their electricity costs. Today’s decision will shine a light on future utility plans so we can more effectively advocate to cut energy waste and reduce electricity bills. We thank Commissioners Anna Tovar, Sandra Kennedy, and Jim O’Connor and Chairwoman Marquez Peterson for their efforts,” said Caryn Potter, SWEEP’s Utility Program Manager.
The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) is a public interest organization promoting greater energy efficiency in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. swenergy.org