FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2020
Ellen Zuckerman, Utility Program Co-Director, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project
firstname.lastname@example.org | 609-610-2989
Diane E. Brown, Arizona PIRG Education Fund | 602-318-2779
Cynthia Zwick, Wildfire | 602-432-3464
The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), Arizona PIRG Education Fund, and Wildfire: Igniting Community Action to End Poverty in Arizona applauded a vote today by utility regulators at the Arizona Corporation Commission to approve energy-saving programs that will provide financial relief to APS ratepayers for months to come. Energy efficiency is widely recognized as the least expensive way to meet Arizona’s energy demand and for lowering customer utility bills, creating local jobs, boosting the state’s economy, saving water, and reducing harmful air pollution.
Ellen Zuckerman, Director of the Utility Program for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, said, “Energy efficiency in Arizona has more than delivered on its promises to reduce costs, create jobs, strengthen our economy and ensure we have cleaner air and water, which leads to healthier communities. Today’s vote by Arizona Corporation Commissioners to approve and expand energy-saving programs means we will continue to invest in what has been proven to work.”
Under the plan approved by Chairman Bob Burns and Commissioners Boyd Dunn, Sandra Kennedy, and Lea Marquez Peterson, APS’s existing energy efficiency programs for residential and business customers will be continued and expanded in important ways. For example:
- Low income customers will get added help to make efficiency improvements to their homes.
- APS residential and business customers will gain access to special emergency financial relief to help them repair and replace air conditioners that break down during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- It will become easier and less expensive for Arizonans to install flexible, dynamic appliances that help cut energy use during heatwaves and prevent blackouts, including connected water heaters, connected pool pumps, and water heater controls.
- Arizonans will see expanded access to rebates to help them install the most energy efficient air-conditioning available, and
- Schools, nonprofits, and businesses will gain access to rebates and services to help them cut the energy use of their lighting, refrigeration, motors, and other equipment.
Diane E. Brown, Executive Director of the Arizona PIRG Education Fund, stated, “The Commission-approved APS energy efficiency plan takes into account the immediate need that exists for ratepayers, employers, and local economies to benefit from energy efficiency programs that have been proven to save energy and money. Energy efficiency programs help ratepayers save money on their electric bills in both the short and long term.”
Cynthia Zwick, Executive Director of Wildfire: Igniting Community Action to End Poverty in Arizona added, “With the confluence of the last APS rate case, COVID-19, and the end of this year’s heat disconnection moratorium around the corner, ratepayers are increasingly looking for opportunities to save money on their monthly electric bills. By their vote today, the Commission is helping limited income households gain access to well-needed additional resources to save money on their monthly bills.”
In addition to the organizations listed above, Dignity Health and over 150 businesses, organizational leaders, and ratepayers from across APS’s service territory expressed support for the Commission approval of the utility’s energy efficiency programs.
Since 2010, energy efficiency plans through Arizona’s Energy Efficiency Standard have provided savings equivalent to the energy use of more than 500,000 homes, saved more than 14 million gallons of water, and produced more than $1 billion in net economic benefits.
The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project is a public interest organization promoting greater energy efficiency in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. For more information, visit www.swenergy.org
The Arizona PIRG Education Fund is an independent, non-partisan group that works for consumers and the public interest. Through research, public education and outreach, we serve as counterweights to the influence of powerful special interests that threaten our health, safety or well-being. For more information, visit www.ArizonaPIRGEducationFund.org
Wildfire: Igniting Community Action to End Poverty in Arizona is a growing movement to end poverty. We advocate for fair practices. We collaborate on policy issues. We support community action initiatives. Beyond easing the effects of poverty, our efforts aim to ignite lasting change: to stop poverty before it starts. For more information, visit www.Wildfireaz.org