Arizona Public Service Company authorizes $51.9M in energy efficiency assistance
The Arizona Public Service Company (APS) implemented a $51.9 million energy efficiency package this week, offering programs to help families and small businesses save money as they attempt to weather COVID-19.
The measure was approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission, marking APS’s first approval in three years. Playing a big part in that was Arizona Corporation Commissioner Lea Márquez Peterson, who wrote to the company at the beginning of September to request that it utilize pending energy efficiency programs as a Customer Relief Package. In doing so, it could prioritize measures like limited-income home weatherization, energy efficient HVAC systems, and smart thermostats that would provide immediate short-term and long-term relief for those in need.
“Energy efficiency programs are one of the best ways for APS to provide value back to their customers, as every dollar spent on an energy efficiency program returns $5 in value back to the customer,” Márquez Peterson said. “I was happy to support Arizonans during this challenging time and provide more modern and meaningful ways APS customers can lower their energy usage during the times of day that typically cost Arizonans the most.”
Specifically, the plan as passed allows for $9,000 per household for limited income weatherization, a 500 percent increase to an HVAC unit replacement incentive, a $50 incentive for joining the APS Cool Rewards demand response program, and incentives for smart thermostats, connected cool pumps, and smart water heaters. Those eligible include residential households, small businesses, nonprofits, schools, hospitals, rural tribes, and impacted communities.
In response to a request from Márquez Peterson, APS has also made benefited for impacted tribal communities effective immediately to help them navigate the early closure of certain power plants.