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Report: Arizonans Have Chance to Save Big on Electric Bills

August 2, 2010

PHOENIX, Ariz. - Arizonans can get the same benefits from their electric service at a lower cost by embracing energy efficiency. That's the gist of a new report from the Arizona Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). Spokesman Ben Kitto says all users - industrial, institutional and residential - will benefit.

"Energy efficiency is basically just using energy more wisely, so that the same level of service can be provided using less energy."

Last week, the Arizona Corporation Commission set a goal of cutting the state's electric sales by 22 percent over the next 10 years through energy efficiency strategies. Commissioners emphasized not only savings from building fewer expensive power plants and transmission lines, but also reductions in air pollution and water use.

Kitto says without the new state energy efficiency standard, Arizona utilities will need to build the equivalent of 32 nuclear power plants by the year 2025.

"When the state can avoid having to build power plants, it saves money for everyone because the upfront costs are avoided, saving the utility money and, in turn, saving the consumer money."

The PIRG report says energy efficiency programs in other states have saved typical residential electric customers hundreds of dollars a year and saved larger users millions. Kitto says utilities are already providing incentives - like subsidies and rebates - to encourage efficiency.

"Some incentive programs are as simple as making it a little more financially attractive for people to throw out their old, inefficient appliances and replace them with new, energy-efficient appliances."

Kitto says other easy ways for consumers to cut energy use include caulking air leaks around windows and doors, and replacing standard light bulbs with fluorescents and LEDs.

The report, "Energy Policy Considerations for the Arizona Corporation Commission," is available at

Doug Ramsey, Public News Service - AZ