Regional News Briefs

2015 Archives

December

New Mexico Commission Approves New DSM Plan for Southwestern Public Service Company

On Dec. 23, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) approved the 2016 demand-side management (DSM) plan for Southwestern Public Service Company (SPS). The PRC approved a stipulation that was agreed to by the utility, the commission staff and SWEEP. The stipulation included a number of program enhancements recommended by SWEEP including expansion of the residential lighting program, expansion of LED lamp installations for small businesses, and a new wifi-enabled smart thermostat program. Based on the approved plan, SPS will spend $11.5 million on DSM programs that are expected to help customers save 31.8 million kWh per year. SPS is a subsidiary of Xcel Energy serving about 120,000 customers in eastern New Mexico.

 

Utah Commission Approves Funding Increase for Rocky Mountain Power's DSM Programs

In an Order issued on Dec. 23rd, the Utah Public Service Commission approved an increase in the utility bill surcharge that funds Rocky Mountain Power’s demand-side management (DSM) programs.  The surcharge will increase from the current level of 3.62 percent to 4.0 percent of customers’ bills effective Jan. 1, 2016. The new surcharge level will enable RMP to spend about $65 million on DSM programs in 2016 while also paying off an uncollected balance in the utility’s DSM balancing account. RMP projects that its 2016 DSM programs will help customers save about 365 million kWh per year, equivalent to about 1.4% of the utility’s total electricity sales in Utah. SWEEP and its partner Utah Clean Energy supported the DSM funding increase.

 

Energy Saving Opportunities to Expand for UNS Electric Customers

In a decision issued in late October, the Arizona Corporation Commission unanimously approved UNS Electric’s latest energy efficiency plan including new cost-effective measures for residential and commercial customers. As a result of the plan approval, large businesses, small businesses and schools will see more opportunities to reduce lighting and cooling costs, and homeowners and renters will have greater access to more efficient technologies. SWEEP advocated for approval of the plan in comments before the Commission. SWEEP also supported an amendment by Commissioner Bob Stump that will facilitate more timely and effective consideration of future demand side management plans. UNS Electric serves about 95,000 customers in Arizona.

 

Arizona Commission Approves Latest DSM Plan for Arizona Public Service Company

Arizona Public Service (APS) customers will see additional opportunities to save money on their utility bills thanks to the Arizona Corporation Commission’s unanimous approval of the utility’s latest energy efficiency plan. The approved plan includes support for more comprehensive retro-commissioning projects in industrial facilities; expanded opportunities for renters, schools, and small businesses to save on lighting costs; and the launch of a special energy efficiency pilot program for schools. SWEEP advocated for approval of the plan and the approval of new cost-effective measures in comments before the Commission. SWEEP also supported several amendments offered by Commissioners Bob Burns, Bob Stump, Doug Little and Tom Forese.

 

Colorado PUC Approves New LED Street Lighting Tariff for Xcel Energy

On Dec. 9, 2015, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission approved Xcel Energy’s tariffs creating an LED street lighting program for street lights owned by the utility in its service area.  Xcel Energy will work with Colorado municipalities to convert up to 95,000 high-pressure sodium street lamps to energy efficient LEDs. Xcel Energy will take responsibility for the street light conversions. Participating municipalities will pay less for street lighting while achieving 50% or greater energy savings. Xcel Energy anticipates completing the conversion of street lamps by 2021, and estimates savings of more than 50 GWH of electricity per year once all eligible lamps are converted.  SWEEP worked with Xcel Energy and the municipalities to expand the range of street lamps offered, develop a pricing model that meets the budgetary requirements of the municipalities, and resolve other issues that arose in the docket.  The program is scheduled to begin January 1, 2016.

 

November

SWEEP Hosts 12th Annual Southwest Utility Energy Efficiency Workshop

On November 12 and 13, 2015, regional and national energy efficiency professionals gathered in Albuquerque, New Mexico to discuss the state of utility energy efficiency programs at SWEEP's 12th Annual Southwest Utility Energy Efficiency Workshop.

The workshop provides an annual forum for regional utility, regulatory, state, nonprofit and industry representatives to hear about the status of utility demand-side management programs in the Southwest and learn about innovative energy efficiency programs and technologies. The 2015 workshop featured engaging panel discussions among demand-side management specialists from nine electric and gas utilities that operate in the Southwest. In addition, national and regional experts discussed special topics such as the role of energy efficiency in the EPA's Clean Power Plan; integrating energy efficiency and demand response programs; supporting building energy code adoption and implementation; and enhancing energy savings through distribution voltage optimization.

The 2015 Regional Workshop was co-sponsored by Arizona Public Service (APS), PNM Resources, New Mexico Gas Company, NV Energy, Questar Gas, Salt River Project (SRP), Tucson Electric Power (TEP), Southwest Gas, and Xcel Energy.

 

SWEEP Convenes Workshop in Arizona on Energy Efficiency and the Clean Power Plan

On November 5th, SWEEP organized a workshop to discuss how energy efficiency can be utilized as a strategy to help Arizona meet the requirements of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP). Key environmental officials, major electric utilities, senior utility commission staff and energy efficiency experts attended the workshop. Attendees discussed how energy efficiency is treated within the CPP and how different types of energy efficiency initiatives could be used under scenarios of either rate-based or mass-based compliance. Presentations were made by John Shenot from the Regulatory Assistance Project, Howard Geller from SWEEP, and Steve Schiller from Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.

 

October

Boulder's Commercial Buildings and Industrial Facilities Will Be More Energy Efficient

On September 29, the City of Boulder, Colorado passed commercial energy efficiency requirements that impact both municipal buildings and privately owned commercial and industrial facilities.  The benchmarking and energy efficiency upgrade requirements will apply to municipal buildings over 5,000 square feet as well as privately held existing buildings over 20,000 square feet. New commercial and industrial buildings over 10,000 square feet are also covered by the ordinance. The requirements, which include energy audit as well as cost-effective upgrade and reporting requirements, will be phased in beginning in 2016.  It is anticipated that the requirements will result in a 10% reduction in Boulder’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.  SWEEP worked closely with the City throughout the stakeholder engagement and proposal revision phases of the effort.

 

September

SWEEP Presents Report on Utility Strategic Energy Management Programs at 2015 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry

SWEEP staff co-authored a report highlighting the strategic energy management (SEM) programs offered to industrial customers of Xcel Energy in Colorado and Rocky Mountain Power in Utah. Xcel Energy’s Process Efficiency program is a technical assistance and custom incentive program that includes elements of SEM, including upper management support, multi-year planning and detailed energy monitoring. Xcel’s program has achieved increasing levels of energy savings over the past five years, including 26,000 MWh of savings in 2014. Rocky Mountain Power offers training in SEM principles and provides incentives for operations and maintenance improvements and the hiring of an energy project manager. RMP’s program is much newer than Xcel’s and achieved 5,600 MWh of savings in 2014. The report, co-authored by staff from SWEEP, Xcel Energy, EnerNOC and Rocky Mountain Power, was presented in at the 2015 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry in Buffalo, NY.

 

Salt River Project Surpasses Energy Efficiency Goals Again

Salt River Project (SRP), Arizona's second largest electric utility, reports that it surpassed its energy savings goal for the fourth consecutive year. The utility reported annual energy savings of 601 GWh per year at the generator level from energy efficiency programs implemented during its 2015 fiscal year. SWEEP calculates that this is the same amount of energy needed to power about 40,000 homes served by SRP. The energy savings at the customer level were equivalent to 1.95% of retail sales, placing SRP among the top electric utilities in the nation with respect to this metric. The utility exceeded its annual energy savings goal of 1.75% by a wide margin while delivering programs under budget. SRP reported that its Retail Lighting, ENERGY STAR® Homes, and ENERGY STAR Pools programs were the largest contributors to energy savings in its portfolio of residential programs. SRP's Standard Business Solutions, Small Business Solutions and New Construction Solutions also exceeded their goals. SWEEP congratulates SRP for another strong year of delivering significant energy and money savings for its customers.

 

Group Purchase Program Offers Discounts on Electric Vehicles and Solar Panels

In late August, a limited-time group purchase program began that allows residents of Boulder, Denver and Adams Counties to purchase rooftop solar panels and electric vehicles at a discount through Oct. 31, 2015.  Sunrun, the selected solar installer, is offering discounts of up to 15 percent on solar panels and installation, and Nissan is offering up to $8,500 in discounts on its Nissan Leaf electric vehicles.  Participating local governments provide outreach and marketing to residents.  In the first four weeks of the program, 641 households have participated, including 225 that signed up to purchase a Nissan Leaf.  This program came out of a set of recommendations SWEEP made in a commissioned report to Boulder County that was released in April.

 

Colorado Commits $100M to Improve Bike Paths and Infrastructure

On September 16, 2015, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced a commitment of $100 million over the next four years to the Colorado Pedals Project in order to make Colorado the “best state to ride a bike." The commitment includes $10 million for Safe Routes to Schools, $30 million for recreational trails, and $60 million in spending on bicycle infrastructure by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). The announcement also includes a commitment by CDOT to help local governments make bicycle improvements on state highways.  Will Toor, SWEEP’s transportation program director, served on the advisory panel to the Colorado Pedals Project.

SWEEP Releases Report on Commercial Building Benchmarking Programs in the Southwest

Benchmarking is the process of tracking building energy use over time with the goal of informing and motivating performance improvement. Increasingly, state and local governments across the nation are implementing benchmarking programs to measure and reduce energy use in buildings.  This new SWEEP report describes benchmarking initiatives in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. In the Southwest, there are currently no benchmarking requirements for privately-owned commercial buildings.  However, cities like Salt Lake City and Denver have recently implemented voluntary benchmarking programs. Others such as City of Boulder are considering rating and reporting requirements for city-owned, commercial and industrial buildings.  The report also provides a brief overview of national trends and benefits of benchmarking energy use.

 

Economic Analyses Show the 2015 Energy Code Is Cost-Effective for Utah

Earlier this year, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) released two Utah-specific economic analyses that demonstrate that adopting the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) in Utah is “cost-effective” for Utah families and businesses. The residential analysis found that each new home built to the 2015 IECC will save $297 on energy bills annually, on average, a reduction of 24 percent compared to the energy code currently in effect. The results also show that home buyers would experience “positive cash flow” within two years after accounting for higher down payment and mortgage costs offset by lower utility bills. PNNL’s commercial building analysis found that commercial buildings constructed to meet the ASHRAE 90.1-2013 standard, a commercial building efficiency standard roughly comparable to the 2015 IECC, will have a simple payback of 1.2 years, with an average life cycle cost savings over 30 years of $1.65/ft2 for private buildings and $1.93/ft2 for public buildings. The two technical analyses were conducted by PNNL through a technical assistance request made by the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development.

 

August

New DSM Plan Approved for Xcel Energy-Colorado

On July 8, 2015, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission approved Xcel Energy’s 2015-16 demand-side management (DSM) plan. The Plan calls for the utility to spend $81.6 million on electric DSM programs in 2015 and $79.0 million in 2016. The electric energy savings goal is to achieve about 407 GWh of annual electricity savings through programs implemented each year (savings at the generator level). The plan includes a number of new programs or new program components including Home Energy Squad, LED street lighting, energy management and information systems, and midstream incentives for commercial cooling measures. In addition, the plan greatly expands energy feedback programs for residential and small business customers, programs that were previously implemented on a pilot basis. The final version of the Plan includes numerous recommendations that were provided by SWEEP.

 

Building Efficiency Leaders Honored in Salt Lake City

On July 15, 2015, four Salt Lake City businesses and a school district were recognized for their leadership in energy efficiency by state and federal dignitaries.  In presenting the awards, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker was joined by Dr. Kathleen Hogan, deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency for the U.S. Department of Energy; and Matthew Dalbey, director of the Office of Sustainable Communities for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The awards recognize leadership and innovation and are a component of Salt Lake City’s Project Skyline initiative, a multi-year effort to reduce energy use in buildings across the city. The businesses and organizations that received recognition at the event are:

Basic Research (Energy Innovator Award)
Fidelity Investments (Sustained Excellence Award)
The McGillis School (Most-Improved Energy Star Score Award)
Newmark Grubb ACRES (Energy Efficiency Leadership Award)
Salt Lake City School District (Benchmarking Champion Award)

 

First Commercial PACE Project Launched in Utah

The first Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing deal in Utah closed on July 1, 2015. This initial $100,000 project includes a 72-array solar canopy, an electric vehicle charging station, and a micro grid at the Hunt Electric headquarters in West Valley City, Utah. The monetary savings realized from the financed building improvements will be in excess of the monthly loan payment for the construction, making the project cash flow positive from day one. This initial project is the product of a partnership forged out of the hard work and collaboration of Hunt Electric, Inc.; West Valley City; Celtic Bank; Utah Clean Energy (SWEEP’s Utah partner); the Utah Office of Energy Development; the law firm of Ballard Spahr, LLP; and the financial advisory firm Lewis Young Robertson & Burningham, Inc. The Utah legislature approved the C-PACE enabling statute in 2013 and the parties have been working ever since to complete this groundbreaking deal.

 

Don Sturtevant Receives National Energy Efficiency Award

Don Sturtevant, corporate energy manager for J.R. Simplot, received a national award for his leadership in industrial energy efficiency from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) on Aug. 5.  Don serves as a member of SWEEP’s Board of Directors.

The ACEEE Champion of Energy Efficiency awards recognize leadership and accomplishment in the industrial energy efficiency field. Don was cited for his achievements at J.R. Simplot and his leadership in promoting energy efficiency to other industrial facilities. Within Simplot, Don drove continuous improvements in energy efficiency from 2009-2014 and reduced the company’s annual energy costs by $5 million, saving a total of $30 million. During this period, five of Simplot’s facilities achieved energy intensity improvements of 25% or more.  By making a strong business case for energy efficiency, Don gained management support for long-term energy goals, developed energy teams at Simplot’s major facilities, encouraged employee incentive programs for energy efficiency ideas, and implemented systems for better energy monitoring.

Don developed partnerships with Simplot’s utilities, the Department of Energy, and the federal Energy Star program. Don also has encouraged other industrial companies to become more energy efficient.

The four 2015 award winners were nominated by their peers and selected by a committee of ACEEE's Board of Directors from a group of over 60 nominations. Selection criteria included each nominee's impact, innovation, and leadership in the energy efficiency field.

 

July

SWEEP Hosts Meeting on Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Buildings

The multifamily sector accounts for about 20 percent of commercial construction square footage in the Southwest and 24 percent of commercial construction square footage in Colorado and is quickly becoming a top building type in the region.  When compared to other residential buildings, multifamily buildings account for 39 percent of all housing starts.

Accordingly, SWEEP hosted its first meeting focused on energy efficiency in multifamily buildings on July 24 in Denver, with attendance from utilities Xcel Energy and Salt River Project, the Denver Housing Authority, Metro West Housing Solutions, Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy, City and County of Denver, Energy Outreach Colorado and International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology.  Other invited stakeholders included YR&G, Element Properties, Department of Housing and Urban Development, USGBC Colorado, Franklin Energy, Saulsbury Hill Financial, Integro LLC and Colorado Code Consulting. During the event, speakers and attendees discussed sustainable development and design strategies for affordable housing and market rate multifamily; financing strategies for upgrades; tenant engagement; master metering versus sub-metering; and utility incentive programs (including Xcel Energy’s upcoming multifamily pilot expected to launch this summer). Participants also discussed whether an energy code specific to multifamily buildings is needed.

 

May

2015 Scorecard of City Energy Efficiency Policies Released

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has released its second biennial City Energy Efficiency Scorecard. The scorecard focuses on America’s largest cities and their work to improve energy efficiency in communities and government operations. Three southwestern cities ranked in the top 20 of the 51 cities included in this year’s Scorecard. Notably, Denver rose into the top 10 tier of energy efficient cities for the first time, ranking 10th.  Phoenix and Salt Lake City ranked 18th and 19th respectively.  Las Vegas debuted on the list in 29th place. The report recognized Denver and Phoenix as leaders for policies to improve the efficiency of city operations. Denver and Salt Lake City both did well in the category of transportation policies.  SWEEP will continue our work with Southwest communities large and small to improve energy efficiency, save money and reduce pollutant emissions. 

 

Rocky Mountain Power Beats Its 2014 Energy Savings Target in Utah

Rocky Mountain Power (RMP) reports that its 2014 energy efficiency and load management (DSM) programs helped its Utah customers save 269 million kWh per year, equivalent to the electricity use of about 26,000 typical households in the state. The savings exceeded the target set by the utility by 18 percent. In addition, the utility estimates its 2014 programs had a benefit-cost ratio of 2.16 on average and will result in $140 million in net economic benefits for the households and businesses it serves. RMP, a subsidiary of PacifiCorp, provides electricity to about 825,000 customers in Utah.

 

PNM’s New DSM Plan Wins Approval

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission approved in April a new demand-side management (DSM) plan for Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM). The plan anticipates spending $25.8 million annually to fund programs for customers, consistent with the requirement that investor-owned electric utilities in New Mexico spend three percent of their revenues on DSM programs. The plan includes a new program targeted to multifamily housing as well as a shift to midstream incentives (i.e., incentives paid to equipment distributors) for a wide range of energy-efficient products targeted to commercial customers.  The new plan will take effect immediately and continue through 2016.  

 

April

Ann Livingston, JD, Named to Energy Leadership Program

Ann Livingston, program manager for state and local engagement at the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, was selected from a national pool of candidates to participate in the 2015 Executive Energy Leadership program hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).  She joins 21 other business, community and government leaders in a five-month educational program of technical briefings, lab and site tours of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.  Livingston, who holds a law degree and graduate certificate in environment, policy and society from CU-Boulder, served as Boulder County’s first Sustainability Coordinator from 2007-2011.  In that position, she helped develop the ClimateSmart Loan Program, which led to $11 million invested in energy efficiency; played a key role in developing the County’s Sustainable Energy Plan; and worked to develop financing and grant programs for energy efficiency as well as education and outreach.

 

Will Toor Receives Prestigious Community Leadership Award

SWEEP’s Transportation Program Director Will Toor received the John V. Christensen Memorial Award for regional civic leadership at the 60th anniversary celebration and awards event of the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) held in Denver on April 22.  In making the award, DRCOG Chair Jackie Millet recognized Toor for his lengthy public service career and ability to work collaboratively.  Toor served as Mayor of Boulder from 1998-2004, Boulder County Commissioner from 2005-2013, and during that time served on the board of DRCOG. His contributions while on the DRCOG board include adoption of sustainability principles in the regional transportation and land use plan, including a goal to reduce per capita greenhouse gas emissions from transportation by 60%; strengthening the regional urban growth boundary; shifting millions of dollars from roadway projects to transit and bicycle projects; and the approval of bus rapid transit for the Boulder Denver corridor.

 

DRCOG Transportation Plan Funds Bike, Bus and Ped Projects

On April 15, the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) approved the 2016-2021 Transportation Improvement Program. In a victory for smart transportation planning, the DRCOG board adopted the most multi-modal of five scenarios, directing significant funding towards improved bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure,enhancing bus services, funding the next step towards a new bus rapid transit (BRT) line, and funding a regional BRT study that SWEEP has called for. The program allocated $38 million (22% of funds available) to bicycle/pedestrian projects, up from 14% and 15% in the last two funding cycles. The regional BRT study is a critical step towards defining the next set of major transit improvements in the Denver metropolitan area.

 

Fort Collins Develops Framework for Deep GHG Emissions Reductions

As part of its climate action plan, the City of Fort Collins, Colorado has developed a new framework for achieving deep reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the city by 2030. Increasing the energy efficiency of existing residential, commercial and industrial buildings is a primary element of the new framework. In addition, the framework includes initiatives to reduce driving and increase the energy efficiency of vehicles. The strategies included in the framework are estimated to achieve a 32% reduction in emissions by 2020, a 73% reduction by 2030 and an 86% reduction by 2050 — all relative to greenhouse gas emissions in the city in 2005. The framework will inform decisions made by cityplanners and policymakers as they consider adopting accelerated goals for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and new or enhanced initiatives to achieve the goals.  

 

Congratulations to 2015 ENERGY STAR Award Winners in the Southwest!

In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE) honor 128 organizations for their commitment to protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency. SWEEP congratulates the seven award winners with operations based in the Southwest region. 

Four organizations in our region were honored in the category of "Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence" for their exceptional leadership year after year in the ENERGY STAR program while remaining dedicated to environmental protection through energy efficiency:

  • Arizona Public Service (Phoenix, AZ -- Energy Efficiency Program Delivery)
  • Energy Inspectors (Las Vegas, NV -- New Home Construction)
  • Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver (Denver, CO -- New Home Construction)
  • Meritage Homes Corporation (Scottsdale, AZ -- New Home Construction)

In addition, three organizations were honored as "Partner of the Year":

  • Fulton Homes (Tempe, AZ -- New Home Construction)
  • New Mexico Gas Company (Albuquerque, NM -- Energy Efficiency Program Delivery)
  • Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District (Tempe, AZ -- Energy Efficiency Program Delivery)

The complete list of award winners, with details of their energy efficiency accomplishments, is available on the ENERGY STAR website.

 

SWEEP Hosts Colorado EV Roundtable

In March, SWEEP hosted an Electric Vehicle Market Acceleration Roundtable, along with the City of Denver and the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado. The roundtable brought industry leaders, government officials, advocates and academics together to explore how to increase EV adoption rates in Colorado. Presenters argued that key areas of action included expanded workplace charging, more utility support for the EV market, and the development of fast charge highway corridors. The meeting followed the February release of a report, Colorado EV Market Implementation Study, by the Colorado Energy Office. Presentations from the roundtable are available online.

 

Xcel Energy Reports Strong Energy Savings Results Again in 2014

Xcel Energy reports it achieved 392 GWh per year of electricity savings and 87 MW of peak load reduction at the generator level from demand-side management (DSM) programs implemented in 2014. The electricity savings exceed the savings goal established by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission by 4.4%. Xcel estimates that its 2014 electric DSM programs will provide its customers with $136 million in net economic benefits over the lifetime of measures installed last year. 2014 electricity savings programs were under budget while surpassing the goal. In addition, Xcel Energy reports that its natural gas efficiency programs helped customers save 607,000 dekatherms of gas per year, well above the company’s gas savings goal. Xcel Energy is the largest electric and gas utility in Colorado with approximately 1.4 million customers.

 

PacifiCorp Issues New Integrated Resource Plan with Increased Energy Savings Goals

PacifiCorp, the main investor-owned utility in Utah and Wyoming through its Rocky Mountain Power subsidiary, has issued its 2015 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The 2015 IRP calls for a significant expansion of the utility’s energy efficiency programs and energy savings achievement over the next 10 years compared to the goals in the 2013 IRP. In the preferred portfolio in the 2015 IRP, energy efficiency resources meet 86 percent of projected load growth during 2015-24. The IRP action plan identifies the steps that PacifiCorp will take to accelerate acquisition of cost-effective energy efficiency resources. In the course of preparing the 2015 IRP, PacifiCorp prepared a new DSM potential study that showed much greater achievable energy savings potential compared to the company’s previous DSM potential study. SWEEP and its partner Utah Clean Energy (UCE) provided input and influenced PacifiCorp’s 2015 IRP.        

 

Three Utah Industrial Companies Recognized for Energy Savings Achievements

The Utah Office of Energy Development recently recognized three Utah industrial firms for their ambitious and successful improvements in energy efficiency. On March 23, 2015, Rio Tinto Kennecott, J.R. Simplot Co., and Utah PaperBox were presented with Excellence in Energy Efficiency Awards at the Utah State Capitol Building. The awards were given out as part of the efforts of the Utah Industrial Energy Efficiency Challenge which is led by Utah Clean Energy with support from SWEEP and the U.S. Department of Energy. Winners were selected based on demonstrated excellence in reducing energy intensity, the number of efficiency projects implemented, and their commitment to ongoing strategic energy management.

 

March

APS and TEP Maintained Large-Scale Electricity Savings in 2014

Arizona Public Service Company (APS) helped its customers save 445 GWh per year from energy efficiency programs implemented in 2014 (savings at point of use), while Tucson Electric Power Company (TEP) helped its customers save 198 GWh per year. The savings achieved by APS in 2014 represent 1.5 percent of its retail electricity sales, while TEP’s savings represent 2.0 percent of its sales. Furthermore, APS indicates its 2014 programs will provide $72.5 million in net benefits for customers, while TEP’s programs will provide $46 million in net benefits, taking into account program and energy efficiency measure costs as well as the performance incentive each utility earns. SWEEP congratulates APS and TEP for another strong year with respect to energy efficiency program performance.

 

Salt Lake City Mayor Issues Executive Order to Increase Energy Efficiency in City Facilities

On February 3, 2015, Mayor Ralph Becker issued an Executive Order to maximize superior energy management at all the city facilities. The order creates an Energy Management Steering Committee that spans city departments and requires city facilities to develop annual Energy Management Plans and track results. The new Executive Order is a cornerstone of Project Skyline, an initiative designed to dramatically cut energy waste in Salt Lake City’s commercial buildings by accelerating investment in energy efficiency and raising public awareness of building performance.

 

Coalition Asks Gov. Hickenlooper to Accelerate Electric Vehicle Market

On Feb. 23, a coalition of 28 organizations sent a letter to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper asking him to make electric vehicles (EVs) a second term priority. The letter asks the governor to develop a strategy to accelerate the EV market that engages utilities and auto dealers, creates electric highway corridors, increases workplace charging, and expands current incentive programs. Colorado is among the top 10 states for per capita EV sales, but is well below the very top tier of states.

 

February

TEP Celebrates Businesses, Contractors, and Community Partners for Energy Savings

Tucson Electric Power (TEP) honored local businesses, contractors, and community partners during its second annual BrightEE Awards held on Feb. 11 in Tucson. Awardees were recognized for achieving significant utility bill reductions and energy savings by participating in the utility's energy efficiency programs. Their energy-saving efforts help TEP to work toward the goals in Arizona's Energy Efficiency Standard, which calls on utilities to achieve cumulative energy savings of 22 percent by 2020, while continuing to provide safe, affordable and reliable power to all customers. Awards were presented to Monrad Engineering, Green Valley Cooling & Heating, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson Airport Authority, eegee’s, Amphitheater Public Schools, Habitat for Humanity Tucson, Marana Chamber of Commerce, D.R. Horton, and Ted Bednar, owner of T.J. Bednar Homes, for his lifetime contribution to residential energy efficiency.

 

PacifiCorp Issues New DSM Potential Study

PacifiCorp has completed its 2015 Demand-Side Management (DSM) Potential Study. The study includes new and emerging technologies such as LED lighting and indicates 20% achievable energy savings potential in the PacifiCorp service territory, which includes Utah and Wyoming (savings potential in Oregon was studied separately). Nearly 70% of the achievable energy savings potential is in Utah. Due primarily to the inclusion of newer energy savings technologies, this updated DSM potential study found almost double the achievable energy savings potential as PacifiCorp’s previous potential study. The study is designed to assist PacifiCorp in preparing a new Integrated Resource Plan that is expected to be available this spring.

 

SWEEP Announces 2015 Business Allies

The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) announced its 2015 Allies Program today, with 26 energy efficiency businesses or business organizations participating for 2015. These companies support SWEEP’s mission to advance energy efficiency in the Southwest and increase utility investments in programs that save households and businesses money while improving the environment. SWEEP thanks the following Allies members for their support:   

  • ACS Energy                            
  • ADM Associates                                                    
  • CLEAResult
  • Conservation Services Group
  • Ecova
  • Edison Foundation Institute for Electric Innovation
  • Energy Solutions
  • EnergySavvy
  • EnerNOC
  • Evergreen Consulting
  • FirstFuel Software
  • Franklin Energy
  • General Motors
  • Honeywell
  • Itron
  • JACO Environmental
  • Johns Manville
  • Leidos Engineering
  • Lockheed Martin Energy Solutions
  • Nexant
  • Opower
  • Philips Lighting
  • Proctor Engineering  
  • J.R. Simplot
  • Tendril
  • The Weidt Group

For more information on the SWEEP Allies Program, please visit:

 

SWEEP Publishes Fact Sheets on Commercial Construction Activity for Energy Efficiency Program Managers

With an eye on the information needs of energy efficiency program managers throughout the Southwest, SWEEP has prepared state and regional fact sheets that provide detailed information about commercial building construction and renovation projects and trends.  Each fact sheet includes graphic summaries illustrating relationships between the number of project starts, project types (new construction vs. renovations), size, location, date and value.  The fact sheets are designed to be especially useful to state energy offices, municipal and county building departments, utilities, and others involved in developing and managing commercial energy efficiency programs.

 

Legislative Committee Recommends Consideration of an EERS in Nevada

A bipartisan Legislative Committee on Energy recommended that the Nevada legislature consider adopting an Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) along with two other policies that will advance energy efficiency in the state. The Committee met in Carson City last summer and its recommendations were included in a report issued by the Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau in January, 2015. SWEEP recommended that the Committee support an EERS. The Nevada legislature convenes its 2015 session on Feb. 2.

 

January

Commercial PACE Financing Program Developed for Utah

An advisory committee has provided recommendations to the Utah Office of Energy Development on the design, structure and administration of a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program to support energy efficiency improvements of commercial buildings in Utah. Commercial PACE financing was enabled by legislation enacted in Utah in 2013. The Utah Office of Energy Development is expected to launch and administer the PACE program in 2015. The advisory committee was led by Utah Clean Energy, which received funding from Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR) as well as the U.S. Department of Energy to support this effort through a subcontract with SWEEP.

 

Arizona Commission Approves New Cost-Effective Programs and Measures for Tucson Electric Power Customers

Tucson Electric Power Company (TEP) customers will see additional opportunities to save money on their utility bills thanks to the Arizona Corporation Commission’s approval of TEP’s latest energy efficiency plan. The approved plan calls for the implementation of several new cost-effective residential and business programs including a multi-family program, an appliance recycling program, a retro-commissioning program, a “bid for efficiency” program and a combined heat and power program. As part of the plan approval, TEP will also implement new cost effective energy efficiency measures such as LED lamps, variable speed pool pumps, efficient compressors and efficient condensers. In comments before the Commission, SWEEP advocated for approval of the plan and the approval of new cost-effective programs and measures. SWEEP also supported several amendments offered by Commissioner Bob Burns, Commissioner Susan Bitter Smith and Chairman Bob Stump.