In the US state of Arizona, Tucson Electric Power (TEP) announced that it has temporarily discontinued the issue energy efficiency rebates to its commercial customers.According to a local publication, TEP will not provide energy efficiency rebates to commercial consumers due to unavailability of funds to support the rollout of the utility’s energy efficiency programme in 2017.
TEP had planned to spend up to $23 million toward the deployment of the energy efficiency programme for its residential and commercial customers using funds raised through consumer energy bills.
Energy efficiency rebates
However, in March, the energy provider realised that it would only be able to collect $17 million for the deployment of the project.
In order to avoid increasing energy tariffs in raising the $23 million required for the project, TEP has decided to keep the energy bills for its customers low and postpone the provision of energy efficiency rebates to commercial customers to 2018.
The shortage of funds for the project has however forced the energy provider to direct the available capital towards energy efficiency for residential consumers.
In previous years, TEP has provided both its residential and commercial consumers with funding for energy efficiency upgrades including the installation of low-energy consuming LED bulbs and smart thermostats.
The utility’s provision of energy efficiency rebates is in line with a mandate issued by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) for energy providers operating in the state to help their customers reduce their energy consumption by participating in various utility tailored energy conservation programmes.
By reducing consumer energy usage, the ACC says utility firms will be able to stabilise grid networks, improve their renewable energy portfolio and in turn reduce their carbon emissions.
The energy conservation projects would also help energy providers reduce their operational expenses and avoid investing in new energy generation infrastructure to meet demand.
Grid infrastructure development
In related news, in early April, TEP filed its smart grid infrastructure upgrade and development plan with the ACC.
In a press statement, TEP said its 2017 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) includes the company’s current resource portfolio and strategies to help the utility meet its energy demand over the next 15 years. Read more...
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