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Dozens of Tucson Business Owners Encourage the Arizona Corporation Commission to Increase Investments in Energy Efficiency

For Immediate Release

With just days before the Arizona Corporation Commission is expected to vote on Tucson Electric Power’s Demand-Side Management Plan, dozens of Tucson business owners encouraged the Commission to increase investment in energy efficiency. The Arizona PIRG Education Fund and the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, who have been speaking with business owners across Tucson, are hopeful the Commission will vote to restore and increase energy efficiency funding for TEP ratepayers at their upcoming meeting.

In a letter to the Commission, three dozen business owners cited the return on investment, the creation of local jobs and reduced energy waste attributed to energy efficiency. According to the letter, since 2010, energy saving programs implemented by Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and Arizona Public Service Company (APS) deliver approximately $3.90 in benefits for every $1 invested by ratepayers, whether or not they participated directly in the programs. Arizona’s energy efficiency industry has also created over 40,000 local, family-wage jobs that can’t be outsourced. Additionally, energy-saving programs have cut energy waste by delivering demand savings greater than eight 100MW peaker power plants.

One of the signatories, Alexis Moyer, owner of Pie Bird Bakery and Cafe, said, “Policymakers should recognize the significant contributions of energy efficiency to our state and take every step possible to reduce inefficient energy use. Inefficiencies in business lead to higher expenses; inefficiencies in energy lead to higher electric bills.”

Ronnie Spece, owner of At Home Tucson Realty, added, “Energy efficiency programs provide business owners tools we can use to reduce energy waste and reduce our electric bills. The Arizona Corporation Commission should vote this month to significantly increase funding available from TEP to allow businesses and others to become more energy efficient.”

Representatives of Arizona PIRG Education Fund and SWEEP have spoken directly with a number of business owners and other ratepayers in TEP’s territory about the benefits of energy efficiency. Aaron Kane, a field associate with the Arizona PIRG Education Fund, stated “Business owners, organizational leaders, and citizens in Tucson have expressed support for restoring and increasing funding for TEP’s energy-saving programs. The Arizona Corporation Commission should heed the call and provide the gift of increased investments in energy efficiency programs for TEP customers this holiday season and beyond.”  

TEP has submitted their DSM plan and Commission staff has issued their report. The next step is for Commissioners to review input from staff, stakeholders and customers and vote.

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