SOURCE: Arizona Solar Power Society

April 13, 2009 11:23 ET

Arizona Prepares to Offer Over $200 Million to Fund Home Energy Audits, Improve Green Building Energy Envelopes, Install Energy Star Appliances and Perform Weatherization Upgrades

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwire - April 13, 2009) - The Arizona Solar Power Society invites residential customers and commercial businesses to attend a special FREE Arizona Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Community Outreach conference in Phoenix on April 16th at 10:30 am. The purpose of the conference is to educate the general public on the societal benefits of reducing energy consumption and helping utility companies avoid the costs of building capital intensive, carbon-based power plants, and reducing harmful carbon emissions that contribute to global warming.

"We are committed to dramatically increasing the amount of energy efficiency programs available in Arizona, because we know the "negawatt" -- energy we don't use -- is the cheapest energy of all," said Kris Mayes, Arizona Corporation Commission Chairman. "Ramping up energy efficiency will also create thousands of quality green collar jobs for our state during these tough economic times."

Mayes added, "The ACC has allocated $37 million for energy efficiency efforts by the state's investor owned utilities on behalf of their customers. These dollars have resulted in various demand side management projects ranging from assisting business owners in reducing energy consumption through retrofit renovations, to working with individual consumers in providing financial assistance for the purchase of energy efficient devices and appliances."

In addition to the $37 million waiting for customers in the utility demand side management and energy efficiency incentive programs, Arizona is set to receive $63 million via a Department of Energy's (DOE) Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program. Another DOE program plans to spend $112 million on a Weatherization Assistance Program and an Arizona State Energy Programs. All of these programs provide money and rebates to assist homeowners and businesses that want to make their homes and business parks more energy efficient.

In unison with more money flowing into energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, the Arizona Legislature also has been working on a number of bills to streamline renewable energy and energy efficiency installation practices, build state programs to finance these projects and pass tax incentive programs that will stimulate economic development and create green collar jobs.

"Our proactive Water and Energy Committee works closely with numerous industry-leading installation companies and manufacturing operations to learn what problems need to be addressed to ensure rapid deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects," stated Arizona House Representative Lucy Mason, Chairman of Arizona's Water and Energy Committee. "To meet these challenges, I have authored over 35 bills in the last 6 years and co-sponsored other important bills. This year I introduced HB2329, HB2332, HB2335, HB2336, HB2337, HB2341 and SB1403. The emphasis for any of these bills is the creation of green collar jobs, increased demand for sustainable buildings and relocation of new energy technology such as power generation or manufacturing."

"There has never been a better time for consumers and businesses to reduce their energy consumption via home and business energy efficiency upgrades," said Jeff Schlegel, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP). "In the past, many businesses and consumers have recognized the need to implement energy efficiency, but simply could not afford it. However, now that millions of dollars are available via utility incentive programs and federal stimulus funding for energy efficiency projects, the time for customers to make these important changes is right now, while the money is available."

"Energy efficiency community outreach programs like this one are a very important part of our customer education process," commented Linda Douglas-Worthey, Tucson Electric Power. "We would like to invite all of our customers to attend this event to learn more about our existing residential and commercial demand side management and energy efficiency incentive programs and to hear about new programs planned for the future."

"Smart choices based on overall energy efficiency and total carbon footprint will benefit all Arizonans and can make us the model for the rest of the nation," said Don Soderberg, Southwest Gas Corporation/Vice President/External Affairs.

"Energy efficiency is the first step in making Arizona a better place to breathe," said Robert Hoskins, Arizona Solar Power Society. "Using less electricity also provides customers with a quicker return on investment when they install a solar system."

Residential customers will learn how to use utility incentive programs to pay for home energy audits; the benefits of buying energy efficient products such as CFL light bulbs and Energy Star electric/gas appliances and how to seal up leaking building energy envelopes by weatherizing doors and windows and adding insulation and radiant barriers to keep energy inside where it belongs.

Commercial customers will learn how to use utility incentive programs to pay for commercial building energy audits and the benefits of installing more efficient lighting systems, motors, heating and air conditioning systems and how to produce their own power with co-generation power plants.

Marketing tables are available for $200 for vendors that want to handout energy efficiency marketing literature on home energy audits, energy star appliances, utility incentive programs, and weatherization installation companies.

Speakers will include:

--  Arizona Home Energy Audits - Daran Wastchak
--  Arizona Energy Star Appliances - Judd Jensen
--  Renewable Energy Legislation - Rep. Lucy Mason
--  Energy Efficiency Stimulus Package - Chairman Kris Mayes
--  Energy Efficient Trends - Jeff Schlegel
--  Southwest Gas Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs - Bobbi Sterrett
--  TEP, UniSource Electric and UniSource Gas Energy Efficiency Incentive
    Programs - Linda Douglas-Worthey
    

The FREE event is being held at the Desert Willow Conference Center in Phoenix on April 16, 2009 at 10:30 am. The conference will also be broadcast live on the internet and recorded for future playback to educate the general public energy efficiency products and utility incentive programs.

Webcast: http://ccsmediasite.com/mediasite/Viewer/?peid=f24f931f-17e8-4834-9ae9-2b11e9e8b10a

Please RSVP yes online at www.meetup.com/arizona-solar-power-society/calendar/9764298/ or by sending an RSVP yes email to rhoskins@frontpagepr.com.

The Arizona Solar Power Society is the largest solar association in Arizona with more than 400 member companies.

Contact Information