For Immediate Release: February 8, 2019
Tucson, Ariz. – Tucson Electric Power (TEP) will offer a portfolio of innovative and cost-effective energy efficiency (EE) programs this year, including new measures that will help reduce electric demand during peak usage hours.
The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) on Wednesday voted unanimously to approve TEP’s most recent EE implementation plan, which offers programs that help customers save energy and money while producing substantial environmental benefits for our community.
The plan includes a larger total budget for TEP’s Schools Energy Efficiency Program, larger incentives for limited-income customers through the home weatherization program and continuation of the company’s popular discount shade trees program, Trees for You.
TEP’s EE plan also includes measures that will explore the potential benefits of working with customers to manage residential peak demand within specific areas of the local electric grid.
With the voluntary new residential load management pilot program, TEP will use smart thermostats to manage the use of air conditioners, heat pumps, water heaters and other appliances during peak usage periods. Customers who volunteer for the program would sign up for a Time-of-Use or Demand pricing plan and receive a financial incentive for their participation.
A new energy storage pilot program will explore how battery storage systems can be used to cost effectively reduce electric demand in residential areas. Both programs will be designed to relieve the burden on heavily loaded circuits and reduce peak energy demand for more reliable service.
The ACC also approved new measures to support electric vehicles, including financial incentives for residential customers who install qualified electric vehicle home charging systems. TEP will participate in planned ACC workshops about electric vehicle policy and seek further guidance for program implementation.
Customers participating in TEP’s EE programs saved more than 170,000 megawatt hours (MWh) in 2017 alone – enough energy to power more than 17,000 homes for a year.
These savings help TEP work toward satisfying Arizona’s Energy Efficiency Standard, which calls on utilities to achieve a cumulative energy savings goal of 22 percent by 2020. TEP’s EE programs are designed to help meet the standard and are funded by the Demand Side Management (DSM) charge, a usage-based fee adopted in 2010 that already appears on customers’ bills. For a residential customer with typical energy usage, the monthly DSM charge will increase by about 78 cents.
TEP’s EE programs have been proven cost-effective for all customers, not just those who participate, by reducing reliance on fossil fuels, resulting in reduced air emissions and water usage. Information about existing programs is available at tep.com/efficiency. Details about new programs will be added to the website as they become available.
TEP provides safe, reliable and affordable electric service to approximately 424,000 customers in Southern Arizona. For more information, visit tep.com. TEP and its parent company, UNS Energy, are subsidiaries of Fortis Inc., which owns utilities that serve more than 3 million customers across Canada and in the United States and the Caribbean. To learn more, visit fortisinc.com.
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