Jun 13 2011 12:00:00:000AM
News Media Contact: Joseph Barrios, (520) 884-3725,
Financial Analyst Contact: Chris Norman, (520) 884-3649,

TEP Customers Can Reduce Energy Bills Through New Pilot Program

Tucson, Ariz. – Tucson Electric Power's residential and small business customers are invited to participate in a new no-cost pilot program that can help them to reduce energy consumption and lower their electric bills.

Through the new TEP Power Partners pilot program, participants will receive a free, state-of-the-art thermostat and other equipment that allows them to monitor and adjust the temperature of their home or business remotely. It also allows TEP's system operators to cycle off a customer's air conditioner or to adjust the customer's thermostat during periods of peak electric demand.

Customers pay nothing to participate and may find the program helpful in reducing their monthly electric bill, said Denise Smith, Director of Demand Side Resources for TEP.

"A program like this allows us to work directly with customers like never before," Smith said. "Participants will be providing us with the ability to modify their energy usage while we're providing them with equipment and information that they can use to reduce their energy consumption."

Up to 600 residential and 200 small business customers will be able to participate in the program, which is slated to last for two years. Participants must be TEP customers with both central air conditioning and broadband internet access who plan to stay in their homes for at least one year. Other conditions may apply.

Once eligible participants complete an online application and are approved to participate in the program, TEP's contractor, Tendril Networks, will make arrangements to install state-of-the-art energy management equipment in the customer's home or business. That equipment includes networked programmable thermostats that will allow TEP system controllers to adjust individual customer settings during times of peak demand. Load control switches installed on customers' air conditioning compressors will allow TEP to reduce run times, thus reducing energy consumption. Participants can choose to override TEP's adjustments at any time.

Customers will be able to access their own near-real time usage data in order to make informed decisions about energy consumption. Residential customers who remain in the program for two years will receive a financial incentive of $50. The pilot program will help TEP evaluate the effectiveness of energy management programs and their effect on customer satisfaction.

TEP customers can sign up for the program by visiting

The pilot program is one of several designed to help TEP comply with Arizona's Energy Efficiency Standards, which were approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission in 2010. The rules require electric utilities to increase the energy savings realized through energy efficiency programs each year until the cumulative reduction reaches 22 percent by 2020.

Tendril, based in Boulder, Colo., is a market leader in the development of energy efficiency and load control programs and services. For more information, visit

TEP, a subsidiary of UniSource Energy Corporation (NYSE: UNS), provides safe, reliable power to more than 400,000 customers in southern Arizona. To learn more, visit