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AZ's Energy-Efficiency Standard Could End

PHOTO: Arizona's energy-efficiency standard, which requires utilities to reduce their overall energy usage by 22 percent by the year 2020, could be removed if the Arizona Corporation Commission approves a proposal it's considering tomorrow. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy.
PHOTO: Arizona's energy-efficiency standard, which requires utilities to reduce their overall energy usage by 22 percent by the year 2020, could be removed if the Arizona Corporation Commission approves a proposal it's considering tomorrow. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy.
December 18, 2014

PHOENIX - The Arizona Corporation Commission is scheduled to hear a proposal tomorrow that would basically end the mandatory energy-efficiency standards for utilities in the state. That's according to Diane Brown, executive director, Arizona Public Interest Research Group (PIRG).

She says the energy-efficiency standard, which the Corporation Commission approved by unanimous vote in 2010, has support from ratepayers, small business owners, and the utility Arizona Public Service.

"Energy efficiency makes logical and financial sense," says Brown. "That's why so many broad and diverse stakeholders across the state are saying, 'We need to keep the standard in place, not remove it.'"

The energy-efficiency standard requires electric utilities to reduce their overall energy usage by 22 percent by the year 2020, through the use of efficiency measures, such as more efficient lighting and appliances, at homes and businesses.

Rebecca Wilder,communications director with the Arizona Corporation Commission, says the proposal would remove the energy-efficiency standards, but would still require utilities to maintain their efficiency programs.

"It would be dealt with on an individual basis," says Wilder. "Each utility would have their own needs, their own requirements, and ways that they would be able to maximize the amount of energy efficiency they employ."

Wilder says the hearing is only to gather public input on the issue, and there is no vote scheduled at this time. The hearing starts at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Arizona Corporation Commission office in Phoenix.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - AZ