US utility drives energy efficiency pilot for low-income customers 17 NOVEMBER 2016

Arizona-based utility firm, Tucson Electric Power (TEP), is implementing an energy efficiency pilot to help its low-income customers reduce energy consumption and costs.

In a press statement, the utility announced its energy efficiency project in which it is providing its low-income customers with energy efficiency equipment.

TEP said it will install 1,800 advanced, programmable and energy efficient Nest Learning Thermostats for its low-income customers residing in apartment complexes.

Customers of TEP receiving the energy efficiency equipment including LED light bulbs are those registered in the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Choice Voucher Programme.

The Housing Choice Voucher Programme helps low-income families to lease or purchase affordable houses.

The energy efficiency project is expected to help customers of TEP reduce their energy usage and costs on cooling by 15% and by 12% on heating systems.

The thermostats are designed to learn customer temperature preferences in about a week and automatically adjust to the mostly used temperature average to help save energy.

Consumers will be able to communicate with the thermostats using a mobile app via their mobile devices.

The announced pilot project was approved and will be funded by the states’ energy regulator, Arizona Corporation Commission.

TEP said the programme falls under its efforts to avoid investing in new energy generation sources and reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.

By implementing energy efficiency programmes, TEP is rallying towards meeting mandates set under the Arizona Energy Efficiency Standard for utilities in the state to reduce their energy usage by 22% by 2020.

So far, the energy distribution firm has saved electricity adequate to power 82,000 homes for a year, through energy efficiency.

Energy efficiency project rollout

Earlier on this month, the Arizona utility launched a $1 million pilot to improve energy efficiency.

TEP kickstarted the energy efficiency project to help schools and other public institutions reduce their energy usage.

Under the TEP Schools Energy Efficiency pilot programme, the utility will provide funding to help schools install energy efficiency equipment including LED lights. Read more.

Image credit: