The following publications and presentations released by the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project related to Utilities:

  • Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) position on clean hydrogen
    January 2023 -

    With the passage of federal legislation in 2022, there is significant funding and renewed interest in the potential for clean hydrogen to contribute to climate solutions. In SWEEP's work to promote energy efficiency, electrification, and other clean energy solutions to climate change in the Southwest states, we will be involved in decisions regarding potential new hydrogen projects in the region, and investments in the Department of Energy’s proposed clean hydrogen hubs. SWEEP sees the potential of green hydrogen to contribute to the United States and regional climate goals, if its production and use are prioritized properly. We think it is important to maximize the wise use of renewable electricity resources — for direct use as electricity, or to produce green hydrogen for difficult to decarbonize fuel uses. SWEEP does not support the production of other colors of hydrogen, including blue, with some potential caveats discussed in this position paper.

  • AZ Energy Rules Analysis
    January 2021 - This technical research report is provided by Strategen Consulting on behalf of SWEEP. Strategen is a professional services company that specializes in power sector modeling and utility regulatory analysis. In November 2020, utility regulators at the Arizona Corporation Commission voted to initiate a formal rulemaking to update the state’s “Energy Rules” to include, among other provisions, a requirement for the state’s investor-owned electric utilities to be 100% carbon-free by 2050. Should the Energy Rules be finalized and implemented, the state’s two largest investor-owned electric utilities — Tucson Electric Power and Arizona Public Service Company — would be subject to their requirements. To examine the potential impact of the Energy Rules on Arizona’s electricity system and its impact on electricity customers, Strategen’s analytical approach and resulting recommendations were informed by two main research questions: 1) Would the implementation of the Commission’s Energy Rules cause the utilities to deviate from a least-cost resource portfolio, thereby increasing costs for Arizona electricity customers relative to business as usual? And, 2) Would the implementation of the Commission’s Energy Rules cause the utilities to compromise their primary resource planning objectives of affordability, reliability, risk mitigation, and environmental performance? Additional info can be found on the Arizona Energy Rules website.
  • Utility Energy Efficiency Programs in the Southwest: Generating Big Benefits for Consumers, the Climate, and the Environment
    January 2021 - Electric utilities in the Southwest greatly expanded their energy efficiency programs over the past decade, thereby helping households and businesses in the region save billions of dollars, according to a new set of state fact sheets prepared by the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP). The state fact sheets cover the energy efficiency programs of major electric utilities in ArizonaColoradoNevadaNew Mexico, and Utah.
  • Energy Efficiency and Electrification Best Practices for Oil and Gas Production
    August 2020 - Production of oil and gas consumes a significant amount of energy, both electricity and fuels, and generates significant emissions of methane and other air pollutants. Most oil and gas production sites in Colorado are not yet connected to the electricity grid. In order to power their pump jacks, and water and oil pumps, these sites use diesel engines and natural gas or diesel generators. Connecting these sites to the grid reduces energy consumption and emissions from the engines and generators and reduces operating costs for the oil and gas producers. This aspect of “electrification” of oil and gas production has advantages for both the oil and gas producers and the electric utilities. There are also opportunities to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions through installing electric rather than gas pneumatic-driven devices and electric rather than natural gas-driven compressors. Updated July 2022.
  • Technology Brief: Deep Retrofit of Multifamily Housing
    December 2019 - A new SWEEP technology brief provides a case study of a Deep Retrofit of Multifamily Housing program in Utah. This program is achieving significant reductions in energy usage in multifamily housing while promoting the large-scale adoption of high efficiency heat pumps and heat pump water heaters (HPWHs). Over 4,000 heat pumps and HPWHs were installed as of October 2019.
  • Smart-Tech Housing Developments In The Southwest: Grid-Integrated and Energy Efficient
    September 2019 - The report, Smart-Tech Housing Developments In The Southwest: Grid-Integrated And Energy Efficient, explores eight housing developments in Arizona, Colorado and Utah that are demonstrating that all of the recent advancements in digital communications and smart devices can work seamlessly with the electric grid and provide multiple benefits not only to homeowners in these developments, but also to home builders, the environment and to the local utility and all of its customers.
  • Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings: Providing Energy Demand Flexibility for Utilities in the Southwest
    August 2019 - A new report by the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project entitled "Grid-Integrated Buildings: Providing Energy Demand Flexibility for Utilities in the Southwest" provides a summary of the residential and small commercial grid-interactive building demand-side management (DSM) programs at the major utilities in the Southwest, highlighting existing programs in the region that are using grid-interactive buildings (GEBs) as a resource to help with the integration of variable renewable generation and to provide other grid services that create value for customers. The report highlights programs in this region that are at the forefront of utilizing GEBs to provide value to the grid.
  • Technology Brief: Air Sealing In Multifamily Buildings
    June 2019 - Improving air sealing is an important strategy to reduce energy waste in buildings. Across much of the U.S., air leakage testing in single-family homes has become an established practice for residential new construction ever since the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) was published. Yet the more complex practice of air sealing in multifamily buildings hasn’t yet become a common practice due to limited code enforcement by building departments and concerns about whether tighter air sealing is achievable in these buildings. This new SWEEP Technology Brief dives deeper into the doability of the practice by looking at a case study from Utah.
  • Technology Brief: Dominion Energy Utah R-5 Windows Rebate Program Success Story
    June 2019 - As part of a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Residential Buildings Integration program, SWEEP has published a technology brief highlighting an innovative residential buildings technology that is part of a utility-sponsored energy efficiency program in the Southwest. The first in a series of technology briefs highlights the Dominion Energy Utah R-5 windows rebate program. Dominion Energy Utah is a natural gas utility that provides service to more than 1 million customers in Utah. The company operates one of the most successful programs in the country to incentivize the most-efficient windows available on the market, known as R-5 windows. Dominion Energy Utah provided rebates for over 10,000 R-5 windows in 2018.
  • Maintaining Strong Utility Energy Efficiency Programs Beyond 2018: Challenges and Prospects in the Southwest
    August 2018 - Electric utilities in the Southwest (AZ, CO, NM, NV and UT) have significantly ramped up their energy efficiency programs in the past decade. Some utilities in the region are achieving first year energy savings of 1.5 percent or retail sales or greater. Some factors call into question the ability to sustain this level of energy savings beyond 2018, while utilities are also implementing innovative technologies and program strategies to maintain or possibly increase energy savings.
  • Is the "duck curve" eroding the value of energy efficiency?
    August 2018 - In recent years, utilities in the southwestern U.S. and California have experienced significant increases in the penetration of renewable resources – particularly solar PV. This has had a major effect on the operation and pricing of electricity in the wholesale markets in these regions.
  • Heat Pumps in the Southwest:
  • A Budding Opportunity: Energy Efficiency Best Practices for Cannabis Grow Operations
    December 2017 - Cannabis cultivation is an energy-intensive sector: energy consumption per square foot for indoor grow operations is about ten times that of a typical office building.
  • Time-Sensitive Valuation of Electricity Savings in the Southwest
    August 2017 - This report examines the methodologies that electric utilities in the Southwest use to value the avoided costs (i.e., determine the benefits) of their energy efficiency and other demand-side management programs. The report also presents the actual value of energy savings for different types of programs implemented by the southwest utilities, and provides recommendations for future valuation of energy savings.
  • Review of Leading Rural Electric Cooperative Energy Efficiency Programs
    January 2016 - This SWEEP report reviews the energy efficiency and load management programs of RECs along two dimensions -- the requirements of state policies and the types of program infrastructure within a state -- and identifies the best practices that will support increased energy savings in the Southwest.
  • Maintaining High Levels of Energy Savings from Utility Energy Efficiency Programs: Strategies from the Southwest
    September 2014 - Paper by Howard Geller, Jeff Schlegel and Ellen Zuckerman, presented at the 2014 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings
  • Upstream Utility Incentive Programs: Experience and Lessons Learned
    May 2014 - Upstream incentive programs, which work through manufacturers and distributors, have the potential to dramatically increase the market penetration of efficient technologies, at a significantly reduced unit cost, compared to downstream incentive programs which directly engage the consumer. This paper reviews the experience of investor-owned electric utilities with upstream incentive programs across the U.S. and provides some conclusions and program design recommendations.
  • Update on Utility Energy Efficiency Programs in the Southwest
    March 2013 - Presentation at the 2013 ACEEE National Symposium on Market Transformation
  • Utility Strategic Energy Management Programs
    March 2013 - SWEEP Report: Based upon a review of three highly effective strategic energy management (SEM) programs currently offered in the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S., the report makes recommendations for utilities which are considering developing such programs in the Southwest and elsewhere.
  • Energy Efficiency at Fort Collins Utilities: A Role Model for Publicly Owned Utilities
    February 2013 - Fort Collins Utilities has demonstrated that a small publicly-owned utility can implement highly effective energy efficiency programs that benefit its customers. Other publicly-owned utilities should replicate what this utility has done.
  • The $20 Billion Bonanza: Best Practice Utility Energy Efficiency Programs and Their Benefits for the Southwest
    October 2012 - SWEEP Report
  • Utility Financing Programs for Industrial Customers
    September 2012 - SWEEP Report: This report provides an overview of the variety of financing programs available for industrial energy efficiency projects, along with profiles of five successful utility financing programs for industrial customers.
  • Utility Energy Efficiency Programs in the Southwest: 2012 Update
    August 2012 - Paper presented at the 2012 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings
  • Southwest Utility Industrial Energy Efficiency Programs: Highlights and Best Practices
    June 2012 - SWEEP Report: Based on a review of nine utility industrial energy efficiency programs, in the region this report offers best-practice recommendations to help utilities achieve greater energy savings, higher participation and better cost-effectiveness in their energy efficiency programs for industrial customers.
  • Energy Efficiency Finance: Options and Roles for Utilities
    October 2011 - SWEEP Report
  • Review of Leading Rural Electric Cooperative Energy Efficiency Programs
    June 2011 - SWEEP Report
  • Municipal Utility Energy Efficiency Programs: Leading Lights
    March 2011 - SWEEP Report
  • Update on Utility Energy Efficiency Programs in the Southwest
    May 2008 - ACEEE Summer Study
  • Rural Electric Efficiency Prospects
    March 2008 - SWEEP Report
  • Demand Response: An Introduction
    May 2006 - SWEEP / RMI Report
  • Catching Up: Progress with Utility Energy Efficiency Programs in the Southwest
    May 2006 - ACEEE Summer Study
  • Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association's Resource Plan: Analysis and Alternatives
    April 2006 - SWEEP / WRA Report
  • Natural Gas DSM Programs: A National Survey
    January 2006 - SWEEP Report
  • Utility Energy Efficiency Policies and Programs in the Southwest
    September 2004 - SWEEP Report
  • Utility Energy Efficiency Programs and Systems Benefit Charges in the Southwest
    April 2002 - SWEEP Report