TEP Offers Energy-Saving Ideas to Avoid Feeling the Heat from Summertime Bills

TUCSON, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As the days get longer and temperatures rise, Tucson Electric Power
(TEP) is reminding customers about energy-saving measures that can
mitigate the higher electric bills associated with hot summer weather.

Increased air conditioning use usually drives electric consumption
higher beginning in May until it peaks typically in July, when average
monthly usage for residential customers exceeds 1,200 kilowatt hours.

To offset those increases, customers can follow a few simple steps and
take advantage of energy efficiency programs that can help keep energy
costs down in hot weather.

Simple Steps

  • Set your thermostat at the highest comfortable temperature to minimize
    your cooling costs. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting
    your thermostat at 78 degrees in the summer, although individual
    preferences may vary. For every degree you raise your thermostat, you
    can reduce your overall energy costs by about 2-3 percent.
  • Use ceiling or oscillating fans to keep air moving so you feel cooler
    without increasing air conditioner use. Don’t block vents or ducts
    inside the house. Maintaining clear air paths allows your cooling
    system to work more efficiently. Keep exterior doors and windows
    closed when running the air conditioner.
  • In summer, use shades, blinds or curtains to keep sunlight out,
    especially during the afternoon in rooms facing west.

Energy Efficiency Programs

  • Replace traditional incandescent light bulbs with cooler ones like
    compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) that carry the Energy Star label.
    Energy Star-qualified CFLs use about 75 percent less energy than
    standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. They also
    generate about 75 percent less heat, so they can cut energy costs
    associated with home cooling. Discounted CFLs are available through
    the TEP
    Energy Star Lighting Program
    .
  • Consider planting trees that will help you conserve energy by shading
    buildings and reducing the effects of urban heat islands. TEP
    customers can purchase up to three native and low-water trees per year
    for just $5 each – down from $8 each last year – through the TEP
    Trees for You Program
    .
  • With the TEP
    Weatherization Assistance program
    , TEP works with the Tucson Urban
    League and Pima County to help limited-income residents reduce their
    energy expenses through the installation of improved insulation,
    upgraded cooler motors and other home improvements. These upgrades are
    provided at no cost to eligible recipients, though funding is limited.
  • If you are in the market for a new home, TEP
    Energy Smart Homes
    can offer a variety of energy-efficient
    features including highly effective insulation, high-performance
    windows, tight construction and ducts, efficient heating and cooling
    equipment and Energy Star-qualified lighting and appliances.

More energy-saving tips are available at tep.com/tips.

This summer’s higher bills will be mitigated by lower energy costs. Last
month, the Arizona Corporation Commission approved TEP’s request to
decrease the Purchased Power and Fuel Adjustment Charge used to
calculate customers’ monthly bills beginning May 1. The average monthly
bill of a typical residential customer is expected to drop by $4.26 due
to the adjustment, which is the result of lower fuel and purchased power
prices.

Customers can reduce their bills even more this summer by signing up now
for an equal payment plan. TEP’s Budget Billing program levels out
seasonal swings in monthly bills by dividing customers’ estimated annual
charges into 12 equal monthly payments. There is no additional charge to
enroll in this program, and customers only pay for the energy they use.
Discounted rates and emergency bill payment assistance also are
available to eligible limited-income customers.

TEP provides safe, reliable electric service to approximately 417,000
customers in Southern Arizona. For more information, visit tep.com.
TEP and its parent company, UNS Energy, are subsidiaries of Fortis Inc.,
which owns utilities that serve more than 3 million customers across
Canada and in the United States and the Caribbean. To learn more, visit fortisinc.com.

Contacts

Tucson Electric Power
Joseph Barrios, 520-884-3725
jbarrios@tep.com