Efficiency has become one of the primary instruments of change in the energy field. Despite growing awareness and adoption, government support is still essential.
In Arizona, regulators gave energy efficiency a ten-year boost. On October 15, the Arizona Corporation Commission, Phoenix, voted to approve docket #RU-00000A-18-0284, otherwise known as the Arizona Corporation Commission's Energy Rules.
The policy has been the subject of debate by the commission for the last two years. It will extend and expand regulations that were first adopted by the commission in 2010.
The policy will require utilities to expand the role of efficiency in a number of ways. They will be required to reduce the amount of energy they generate through reductions in capacity, and they will be required to reduce demand by lowering the amount of energy needed by their customers. All of this must be done over the next ten years.
Specifically, by 2030, utilities will be required to reduce their capacity and peak demand on the grid by 35%.
They will also be required to reduce overall energy consumption among their customers by 13%. Utilities will be required to do this incrementally by averaging 1.3% annual energy efficiency measured (by megawatt-hour [MWh] savings) measured over three-year planning periods.
To reduce consumption, the regulation requires utilities to propose demand side management (DSM) programs. These include traditional energy efficiency, demand response, and other programs that focus on reducing overall energy usage, peak demand management and load shifting.
Utility performance will be based on MWh energy savings and megawatt capacity reductions.
Lastly, utilities will be required to treat resources on the customer’s side of the meter equally with other utility resources.
Perhaps most importantly, customers of the state's three major utilities, Arizona Public Service Company, Phoenix; Tucson Electric Power, Tucson, Ariz.; and UNS Electric Inc., Tucson, will benefit from these new policies. They will receive more rebates and services to replace old air conditioners, swap out inefficient water heaters, upgrade lighting, patch air leaks and otherwise cut energy waste.