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Consumer Advocates Urge State to Strengthen Energy Efficiency Standards

By meeting energy efficiency standards set by state regulators, Arizona utilities cut millions of dollars from electric bills and improved the state's air quality and public health. (EpicStockMedia/AdobeStock)
By meeting energy efficiency standards set by state regulators, Arizona utilities cut millions of dollars from electric bills and improved the state's air quality and public health. (EpicStockMedia/AdobeStock)

May 16, 2019

PHOENIX – Consumer advocates are encouraging the Arizona Corporation Commission to be results-oriented when it sets the state's next energy efficiency standard.

The Arizona Public Interest Research Group Education Fund says between 2010 and 2017, every single dollar of ratepayer money invested in energy efficiency by Arizona Public Service and Tucson Electric Power returned $4 in benefits to ratepayers.

With that in mind, Diane Brown, director of Arizona PIRG, is encouraging the Arizona Corporation Commission to set an energy efficiency standard for the next decade, and not just a goal.

"In order for Arizona consumers to best reap the benefits of energy efficiency, the energy efficiency standard should be extended and expanded to at least 35% by 2030," she stresses.

Next Wednesday, the Corporation Commission will begin the process of establishing a new set of energy efficiency standards for the years 2020 to 2030.

Brown says a recent PIRG poll shows that nearly 7-in-10 Arizona voters agree that regulations applied to utility providers should be increased to ensure they are offering energy efficiency to all their customers.

Energy efficiency policies are designed to reduce electricity waste.

Brown adds that through its energy efficiency standard, the commission has ensured that the state is on a path that will not only benefits pocketbooks but also improves air quality and public health.

"Arizona's energy efficiency standard has provided savings equivalent to the energy use of more than 500,000 homes, saved more than 14 million gallons of water and produced more than $1 billion in net economic benefits," she points out.

Brown says Arizonans can learn more about the energy efficiency standard on the website EnergyEfficientArizona.org.

Disclosure: Arizona PIRG Education Fund contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Consumer Issues, Energy Policy, Urban Planning/Transportation. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Mark Richardson, Public News Service - AZ