Special to The Explorer
Additional funding has been granted to Tucson Electric Power so it can expand its compact fluorescent lamp buy-down program, according to a release from the Arizona Corporation Commission.
TEP has been granted $790,724 to promote installation of energy-efficient Energy Star@-approved lighting products by residential and small commercial customers.
Participation in the program "has been greater than anticipated," the release said. TEP reports that, during the period July-December 2008, customers purchased 395,491 CFL lamps, more than 90,000 above the projection for all of 2008.
The utility is able to negotiate discount pricing from CFL manufacturers and retailers through incentives paid to the manufacturers. Customers are referred to participating retailers (i.e. department stores, home improvement stores, lighting equipment stores and supermarkets) to purchase qualifying products of various sizes and configurations that carry the Energy Star@ label. In addition, the program provides customer education and sales training for participating retailers, including in-store point-of-sale displays.
"While compact fluorescent bulbs are more expensive than traditional incandescent lamps, they last longer and customers see significant savings from reduced power and energy use," the release said.
"Today's decision will help to ensure that the customers of utility companies in Southern Arizona have the tools necessary to reduce their electricity costs," Chairman Kris Mayes said. "More and more Arizonans are turning to — and turning on — CFL light bulbs as a way to reduce their electricity bills and help the environment."
"These programs have been cost-effective while producing tremendous environmental benefits," said Commissioner Bob Stump. "Projections show a savings of over 137 million gallons of water and over 108 million pounds of CO2."