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Guide Demystifies Issues in Corp Comm Races

July 19, 2010

PHOENIX - This year's candidates for the Arizona Corporation Commission will be tossing around terms like transmission facilities and renewable energy standards. The watchdog group Arizona PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) has put together a briefing book for voters, available on line, to help define and explain issues the commission will be deciding in the next few years. The body has jurisdiction in many areas involving public utilities, energy policy and transportation matters.

PIRG spokesman Ben Kitto says the non-partisan guide uses fairly easy-to-understand terms.

"Even voters without a technical science background are going to walk away from this briefing book with an understanding of what the candidates are talking about."

Kitto says major topics covered include energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy transmission.

Kitto says energy efficiency is defined in the briefing book as 'reducing the amount of energy a task requires.'

"It can be switching a lightbulb to a CFL bulb so it takes a little bit less energy. It can be replacing the windows in your home so that they're better insulated."

He says future commissioners will consider whether to require that a certain amount of Arizona's energy come from energy savings through efficiency, and how that can be accomplished.

Kitto says commissioners will also implement the state's Renewable Energy Standard, which currently requires that 15 percent of the state's energy come from renewable sources by the year 2025.

"The new commission will have a wide degree of autonomy to decide how that standard is reached and whether or not it's expanded."

Voters will elect two of the commission's five members in November.

The guide is available for download at www.arizonapirg.org

Doug Ramsey, Public News Service - AZ