Using energy efficiently saves money, protects the environment and helps keep electric service affordable for everyone.
TEP has been delivering this message for years, and customers have responded. You’ve replaced incandescent bulbs with LEDs, planted shade trees to cool your homes, installed energy-smart pool pumps and purchased ENERGY STAR® appliances.
Thanks to these efforts, TEP’s energy efficiency programs have saved about 15.4 million tons of CO2 emissions and 16.7 million megawatt hours of electricity over the last 10 years.
Increasingly, though, we’re rethinking our traditional around-the-clock approach to energy efficiency. Reducing usage during peak periods is becoming more important than ever as we transition to wind and solar power systems because those renewable resources can’t be ramped up on demand.
That’s why TEP and other electric utilities across the country are refocusing their energy efficiency programs to help customers manage their usage in ways that support our transition to cleaner energy resources.
“In past years, we’ve been very focused on helping customers reduce their usage – and while we did have some incentives to move usage to off-peak times, our programs are now going to be even more focused on when usage happens,” said Energy Programs Manager Francisco Castro. “That’s particularly important since any savings on energy costs helps us make sure our rates remain affordable.”
Castro noted customers are going to play a critical role in supporting our strategy to meet the long-term energy needs of our community while meeting our target of reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2035. “We know that our customers want to be part of the solution as we work toward a cleaner, greener grid,” he said.
TEP already provides data that can support smarter energy use. Customers can log into My Energy Usage on tep.com and the TEP Mobile App to review their hourly consumption and make daily, monthly and annual usage comparisons.
Detailed usage information can help customers make the most of our time-of-use pricing plans by shifting consumption to off-peak periods when power costs are lower. Smart thermostats and other smart home devices can help customers make these shifts automatically, generating significant savings.
Such devices also can create new opportunities for utilities to partner with customers on energy management solutions that better match consumption to clean energy output and grid conditions.
TEP is evaluating the possibility of offering customers incentives for allowing us to make occasional adjustments to their thermostat, water heater and electric vehicle charger during on-peak hours when the demand for energy is high.
To test that concept, we launched a pilot program over the summer and fall involving about 500 private water heaters in multifamily complexes, equipped with smart controllers. We programmed them to heat water before on-peak periods begin and then remain idle until they end.
Participating customers received quarterly incentives.
We’re also evaluating possible incentives for home energy storage systems that customers could charge during off-peak periods and deploy during on-peak hours. And we’re exploring ways to incentivize electric alternatives for equipment fueled by propane or diesel, including forklifts and cooled cargo trucks during loading/unloading.
“Being energy efficient is the right thing to do, but shifting the load to off-peak also helps reduce customers’ bills, as energy costs are lower during off-peak hours on our time of use pricing plans,” Castro explained. “Ultimately, energy efficiency and demand side management, combined with the expansion of renewable energy and reductions in carbon emissions, benefit both utilities and customers and helps to improve our health, the environment and climate.”
TEP already offers rebates on AC tune-ups, smart programmable thermostats, lighting, pool pumps and more. Our programs are reviewed and approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) and funded by a demand side management (DSM) surcharge on customers’ bills. Learn more about our energy efficiency programs.
Our TEP Marketplace, introduced in 2020 and powered in partnership with EFI, allows our customers to purchase a wide range of products online at competitive or discounted prices. Check out some of the convenient offerings, many with instant rebates and manufacturer discounts, here.