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Last fall, Salt River Project (SRP) agreed to postpone its proposed rate hike due to significant concerns about the size of the increase and SRP’s limited investments in energy efficiency and clean renewable energy. Again, SRP customers and groups including the Arizona PIRG Education Fund and the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club are asking ratepayers to send SRP the message that it should focus more on increased energy efficiency and renewable energy and not on coal or other dirty energy sources. SRP has proposed a rate hike of 4.9%, much of which is attributable to the costs associated with the Springerville Generating Station (Unit 4) and for pollution controls at Coronado Generating Station, both of which are coal-fired power plants.
SRP will take public comment on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010, at 9:30 a.m. at their Board meeting - 1521 N. Project Drive - Tempe.
According to Jeff Schlegel, Arizona representative for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), “SWEEP supports the expanded energy efficiency programs that SRP plans to implement over the next two years. These programs will help consumers and businesses reduce their energy costs, while benefiting the environment and improving the Arizona economy.”
“While we appreciate SRP’s commitment to delay new power plants and power lines whenever possible, it is important for SRP to concede investing in coal is investing in the past and investing in energy efficiency provides the best return on ratepayer investments and is the future,” stated Diane E. Brown, Executive Director of the Arizona PIRG Education Fund.
“We appreciate SRP increasing its investments in energy efficiency, but want to encourage it to continue to ramp up the investment significantly in the coming years, “said Sandy Bahr, Chapter Director of the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter. “Energy efficiency programs help reduce energy use, cut pollution, reduce water use, and are overall good for consumers’ budgets. Installation of energy saving devices and appliances also helps create jobs, which is critical during these tough economic times.”
The SRP Board meeting is open to the public. SRP management is expected to provide a brief overview of their rate proposal and then interested individuals will have an opportunity to ask questions and/or provide comment.
The SRP Board is expected to vote on this issue on March 11, 2010. More information on the proposal can be found at www.srpnet.com
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