Arizona Utilities and The City of Peoria Win Southwest Leadership in Energy Efficiency Awards

TEMPE, AZ (November 20, 2014) Arizona’s three largest electric utilities received leadership awards for highly effective energy efficiency programs in a ceremony held today during the 11th annual Southwest Energy Efficiency Workshop at the Tempe Mission Palms hotel. The City of Peoria received a leadership award for its ongoing energy efficiency efforts and for being the first city in Arizona to adopt a state-of-the-art building energy code for all new homes and commercial buildings.

The three utilities and The City of Peoria have reduced bottom line operating costs and saved customers hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Howard Geller, executive director of workshop host, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project. “We are recognizing the best-performing programs, which are targeted to businesses and builders. These programs are boosting the building industry to a new level of expertise that results in skilled jobs along with new homes and businesses that offer high levels of comfort and affordability.”

The annual workshop is attended by managers of energy efficiency programs who work at major utilities in the Southwest, by policymakers, and by companies providing products and services to the industry.

Arizona Public Service Company (APS) received an award for its popular Solutions for Business energy efficiency program.  The program tailors energy efficiency to the needs of a variety of business and commercial customers ranging from hospitals to restaurants, schools to office buildings.  The program provides technical assistance and rebates for a wide variety of upgrades including efficient lighting and air conditioning, energy-saving building controls and other measures. It provides a list of trained contractors who make the process stress-free by handling paperwork as well as the upgrades. Upgrades through the Solutions for Business program saved APS’ business customers about $22 million in energy costs in 2013 alone.

Salt River Project (SRP) received an award for its strong support of the adoption of rigorous and effective building energy codes in the communities it serves.  The utility was motivated by the fact that it is easier and less expensive to “build buildings right” in the first place than to go back in and retrofit them for greater energy efficiency later.  So SRP focused on energy code advocacy and training to prepare code officials and building professionals to implement and maximize the benefits from the newer, more efficient energy codes. SRP’s timing was excellent: A rebound in the Arizona construction industry is tracking the economic recovery. SRP expected 1,758 commercial structures to be built last year in cities where it helped to increase building-code requirements, up from 465 in 2012.

Tucson Electric Power Company (TEP) received an award for its Energy Smart Homes program that promotes energy efficient new home construction.  Through the program, TEP emphasizes a whole-house systems approach to design and construction in cooperation with a number of Arizona builders.  Energy Smart Homes improves the health, safety and comfort of residents and helps them conserve energy and save money. The utility provides on-site inspections and field-testing in order to ensure that homes perform the way they were designed.  TEP was an early leader in treating the home as a complete system, and in applying performance testing and integrated building science in the industry.

The City of Peoria is the first municipality in Arizona to adopt the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), which provides contractors with specific guidelines for tailoring new construction to mechanical systems for maximum energy efficiency.  The 2012 code sets a high bar for efficient buildings.  Also, Peoria was cited for its commitment to conserving energy in public buildings, upgrading outdoor lighting to be efficient, and for efficient fleet transportation.

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About SWEEP: The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) is a public interest organization dedicated to advancing energy efficiency in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. To learn more, visit www.swenergy.org.

Picture Caption:  Dan Hogan and Denise Smith from Tucson Electric Company; Dan Dreiling from Salt River Project, Jim Wontor and Valerie Wynia from Arizona Public Service, and Bill Mattingly from City of Peoria.

Contacts:

Jeff Schlegel, SWEEP Arizona representative:  (520) 907-1088; schlegelj@aol.com

Susan Daluddung, Ph.D., Deputy City Manager, The City of Peoria, AZ:  (623) 773-5160; susan.daluddung@peoriaaz.gov