Tucson Electric Power (TEP) has recognized customers and other community partners with TEP BrightEE Awards for energy savings achieved through the company’s successful energy efficiency (EE) programs.
The inaugural TEP BrightEE Awards were presented today to local nonprofit organizations, school districts, small businesses and homebuilders. Several BrightEE (pronounced ‘brighty’) recipients are customers who reduced their energy use and lowered their monthly electric bills by participating in TEP’s customer-funded EE programs.
“Energy efficiency programs give us a great opportunity to work directly with our customers in developing an important, low-cost energy resource,” said TEP President and Chief Operating Officer David G. Hutchens. “These EE partnerships produce savings for our customers, benefits for our environment, and help us to continue providing safe, reliable, and affordable service to the community.”
TEP’s EE programs provide incentives for customers to invest in high efficiency technologies such as compact fluorescent lighting, pumps, motors and HVAC equipment. Other programs offer incentives for builders to design and construct residential and commercial buildings based on EE construction standards.
The programs help TEP work toward achieving the goals in Arizona’s Energy Efficiency Standard. The standard requires electric utilities to increase energy savings each year through customer-funded EE programs until the cumulative usage reduction reaches 22 percent by 2020.
EE programs, which cost less than building new power plants, help reduce reliance on fossil fuels, resulting in reduced air emissions and water usage. TEP’s EE programs have already produced significant benefits. The TEP EE program measures enacted in 2013 alone will produce energy savings exceeding 168,000 megawatt hours – enough energy to power more than 14,000 Tucson homes for a year.
Here is the list of BrightEE categories and winners selected by TEP’s EE team:
- Large Business – Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital: St. Mary’s most notable projects include retrofitting more than 20,000 florescent T12 tube lamp fixtures with more efficient lamps and thousands of electronic ballasts. The hospital also installed variable speed drives, which can raise or lower motor speeds used in HVAC and other systems. Installation of an automated energy management system is scheduled to be completed this summer.
- Small Business – Vroom Engineering: This local engineering firm participated in the Small Business program to replace more than one hundred 1,000-Watt, metal halide light fixtures with energy efficient high bay fluorescent fixtures.
- Contractor – Inline Electrical Resources: Inline was the first applicant to register as a contractor for TEP’s Small Business program. Since then, Inline has completed more than 200 energy efficiency projects.
- Schools – Sunnyside Unified School District: Sunnyside has upgraded classroom lighting and mechanical equipment at the majority of its schools and several support facilities. In 2013, the company gave 17 EE classroom presentations and distributed more than 450 energy efficiency kits for Sunnyside students to use at home through TEP’s Outreach Program. Desert View High School also participates in TEP’s Direct Load Control program.
- Schools – Marana Unified School District: Marana has upgraded lighting and HVAC equipment in several schools by combining TEP incentives with federal funding available through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. More than two dozen EE classroom presentations were given in 2013 alone, and TEP has distributed more than 550 EE kits to students.
- Non-Profit – The Primavera Foundation: In 2013, Primavera completed construction of a new energy-efficient, 12-unit family complex that was built in South Tucson using sustainable principles. The project is designed to meet LEED and Net-Zero Energy Building standards through a mix of 2- and 3-bedroom patio units that are ADA compliant. (Note: This nonprofit organization, which administers affordable housing, workforce development and neighborhood revitalization programs, is a past recipient of TEP’s Grants That Make a Difference program, which is funded with shareholder dollars.)
- Homebuilder – Meritage Homes: Meritage was the first national builder to construct every home using standards that meet or exceed ENERGY STAR® requirements. Meritage, which participates in TEP’s New Construction program, builds homes that are twice as energy efficient as a typical U.S. home of the same size.
- Lifetime Contribution to Residential Energy Efficiency – John Wesley Miller: Miller, a national leader in energy conservation and green building practices, has received numerous industry honors and awards for energy conservation and building quality. He has consulted with Pima County to promote a program for energy-efficient homes and the use of solar energy, and with the University of Arizona’s Environmental Research Laboratory in developing new energy-saving products and technologies. Miller is one of four builders selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop highly-efficient “zero-energy use” homes. The second such home built by Miller costs an average of about $300 annually to heat and cool.