FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 2021
Ellen Zuckerman, SWEEP
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Melanie Davidson, Strategen
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[PHOENIX, AZ] – Greater investment in clean energy, such as energy efficiency, solar, and batteries, consistent with the new “Energy Rules” approved by state utility regulators in November, could create an economic windfall of $2 billion for Arizona, according to a new major study.
The study was released today by the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) and conducted by Strategen Consulting, a leading energy modeling and research firm.
The report identifies the cheapest way for Arizona to meet its energy service needs over the next 15 years. Using data from Arizona Public Service (APS) and Tucson Electric Power (TEP) — two of the state’s largest electric companies — Strategen built a model of Arizona’s power system and determined the state’s cheapest, most reliable mix of energy options moving forward.
The results were compared with new requirements approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) last fall. If fully implemented, the Energy Rules would direct APS and TEP to deliver 100 percent carbon-free power by 2050 — and demonstrate progress along the way — expand programs to help customers save energy, and boost investment in battery storage. The Rules were developed after years of analysis, more than a dozen public meetings, thousands of written comments, and hundreds of hours of engagement by stakeholders.
This new study finds that:
- Arizonans could save over $2 billion if APS and TEP meet and exceed the new clean energy requirements.
- Arizona’s cheapest option is to invest in even greater levels of solar, energy efficiency, and battery storage than what is included in the Energy Rules.
- If utilities continue to pursue a greater use of solar, wind, and battery storage; make meaningful investments in energy efficiency; as well as take other measures consistent with the proposed Energy Rules, it would reduce electricity generation costs by more than $2 billion through 2035. This amount represents an 11 percent reduction in generation costs relative to a “business as usual” scenario.
“The results speak for themselves. Capitalizing on Arizona’s untapped clean energy potential would deliver billions in savings for all Arizonans,” says Ellen Zuckerman, Co-Director of the Utility Program for SWEEP. “We cannot afford to delay. Arizona Corporation Commissioners must act now to finalize and implement the Energy Rules.”