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Arizona Corporation Commission Unanimously Approves One of the Strongest Energy Efficiency Standards in the Country

Phoenix, AZ – Today, the Arizona Corporation Commission acted to save consumers and businesses money by unanimously approving a final Energy Efficiency Standard Rule.

“There was strong support from all five commissioners to significantly increase Arizona’s commitment to energy efficiency via this landmark new standard,” said Jeff Schlegel with the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP). “Arizona’s utility customers benefit from this standard as they will have better access to energy efficiency measures that will reduce energy consumption and lower their utility bills.  Consumers and businesses will save billions of dollars in lower energy costs.”

The Energy Efficiency Standard established in the Rule will achieve 22 percent energy savings in 2020 as a percent of retail sales from energy efficiency, with a credit of up to 2 percent for demand response.  This will put in place one of the strongest energy efficiency standards in the country.

“The energy efficiency rule is a big step forward in decreasing energy use and reliance on polluting sources of energy,” said Sandy Bahr, Chapter Director of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club. “This will mean less air pollution, decreased water use, fewer emissions that contribute to climate change, and a more sustainable future for all Arizonans.”

Reduced power generation associated with energy efficiency measures will result in a decrease of a number of pollutants including carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas), nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, mercury and other pollutants.  This will reduce the public health impacts related to emissions of particulate matter and mercury, and also reduce our contribution to global climate change.

The energy efficiency measures that are contemplated by the rule must be cost effective and will result in saving ratepayers money by lowering their overall bills for electricity.

“Energy efficiency is one of the most cost-effective resources around and is much less costly than constructing and operating new power plants,” said David Berry with Western Resource Advocates.

“The Commission deserves credit for doing their part to help a struggling economy.  A strong energy efficiency standard is a win-win-win policy: ratepayers save money on their monthly electric bills; children, seniors and those with weak immune systems enjoy better health; and Arizonans continue to receive improved air quality,” stated Diane E. Brown, Executive Director of the Arizona PIRG Education Fund.

Well, somebody’s got their heads on straight. Arizona gets it– why not Texas?  A little disheartening when you have the PUC deciding efficiency rules tomorrow and groups like the Texas Public Policy Foundation poo-pooing energy efficiency (they think we should build nukes!  Amazing!  Nuclear energy is like conservative “think” tank kryptonite– they HATE government subsidies and bailouts until it comes to nukes. Then they just can’t get enough of them.)

So, final word: Efficiency = lower bills, less pollution.  Building more non-renewables power plants = high bills, more pollution.  In this case, is this Arizona = good, Texas = needs to catch up to Arizona?


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.