Regional News Briefs

February

New SWEEP Report on Industrial Recommissioning

SWEEP has issued a new report, Industrial Recommissioning: Not Just a Building Tune-up.  Industrial re-commissioning programs can help all sizes of industrial customers save energy and money. Through low-cost improvements to common industrial energy systems such as compressed air, pumping, process cooling, and refrigeration, customers can often save 10-20 percent of the energy consumption of the systems targeted. This report reviews features of six existing programs and provides a set of recommendations for successfully implementing a new industrial re-commissioning program.

 

Colorado PUC Approves Xcel Energy’s 2017-18 Energy Efficiency and DSM Programs Plan

The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) of Colorado has approved a new two-year demand-side management (DSM) plan for Xcel Energy, the large investor-owned utility serving 1.4 million electric customers in Colorado. The PUC signed off on an unopposed Settlement Agreement in the docket reviewing Xcel Energy’s new DSM plan. 

Based on the approved budget, Xcel Energy will spend $100 million on electric DSM programs in 2017 and $98 million in 2018. In addition, the new DSM plan includes $13 million per year in funding for natural gas energy efficiency programs.

The new DSM plan is designed to save approximately 425 million kilowatt-hours and reduce peak demand by 81 megawatts from energy efficiency and other DSM programs implemented annually during 2017-18. The annual energy savings targets are equivalent to nearly 1.4 percent of Xcel Energy’s retail electricity sales. 

The new DSM plan and Settlement Agreement include a number of program enhancements recommended by SWEEP including a Strategic Energy Management pilot program for large customers; addition of advanced rooftop air conditioner controls to the business cooling program; addition of smart thermostats to ongoing programs where cost effective; consideration of increased support for Net Zero Energy buildings, and consideration of an upstream incentive program for heat pump water heaters. SWEEP also helped convince other stakeholders to support or at least not oppose the Settlement Agreement.

 

January

Denver Regional Council of Governments adopts strong sustainability goals

On Jan. 18, 2017, the board of directors of the Denver Regional Council of Governments adopted Metro Vision 2040, a long-range plan for land use and transportation in the Denver metropolitan area. The final plan includes targets of a 10 percent reduction in per capita driving and a 60 percent reduction in per capita greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

The plan also calls for a 25 percent increase in average density, and for most new growth to take place in urban centers.

SWEEP served on the advisory committee for developing Metro Vision 2040 and advocated for strong sustainability goals.

 

New Mexico Public Resources Commission Approves PNM’s 2017 DSM Plan

Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) customers will see additional opportunities to save money on their utility bills, thanks to the New Mexico Public Resources Commission’s (NMPRC) approval of PNM’s 2017 Demand-Side Management (DSM) plan.

As part of the plan approval, PNM will continue its existing programs for residential, commercial and industrial customers and add a new program providing rebates to home builders for the construction of energy-efficient houses. Additionally, PNM will receive incentives for exceeding the minimum savings required to meet its Efficient Use of Energy Act goals.

SWEEP worked with PNM, the NMPRC Staff, Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy, and Western Resource Advocates to develop the uncontested stipulation that was approved by the NMPRC on January 11, 2017.

 

Tucson Electric Power installs smart thermostats in low-income apartment complexes

Tucson Electric Power is giving away smart thermostats to limited-income apartment residents who want to conserve energy.

Nearly 1,800 Nest Learning Thermostats are being installed in apartments throughout the greater Tucson area as part of a new pilot energy efficiency program.