November 10, 2022
PHOENIX (Nov. 10, 2022) – Arizona PIRG Education Fund, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), and Western Resource Advocates (WRA) applauded the Arizona Corporation Commission for adopting strong transportation electrification plans for Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and UNSE. The plans passed 3-2 with Chairwoman Lea Marquez Peterson and Commissioners Sandra Kennedy and Anna Tovar voting in favor, and Commissioners Justin Olson and Jim O’Connor voting against.
In addition to the Commission-required components of the plans which include benefits to ratepayers, the electric grid and air quality, as well as private market investment, the organizations noted that TEP and UNSE’s plans also include reduction of financial and technical barriers to electric vehicle (EV) adoption and the development of unique partnerships to deliver the benefits of transportation electrification to all customers.
“These two transportation electrification plans passed by the Commission are among the strongest in the Southwest,” said Alex Routhier, senior clean energy policy analyst at WRA. “TEP and UNSE deserve praise for developing plans with stakeholder input that will help reduce electric bills while substantially increasing access to EV charging for Arizona residents and businesses.”
The Commission has now passed several policies to advance transportation electrification in Arizona. In December 2021, the Commission required TEP, UNSE, and APS file Transportation Electrification Implementation Plans (TEIP) every three years and evaluations annually, which led to today’s vote.
“The Commission should be applauded for approving the TEP and UNSE’s Transportation Electrification Implementation Plan as these programs will reduce the barriers to electric vehicles while improving air quality and boosting the resiliency of the electric grid,” says Caryn Potter, Arizona representative for SWEEP. “This decision sends a strong signal that Arizona is serious about transportation electrification and all of its great benefits.”
Diane E. Brown, executive director of the Arizona PIRG Education Fund, stated, “Although the TEP and UNSE transportation electrification plans were tailored to their respective territories, each utility provides program options for low-income customers, individuals that live in single and multi-family dwellings, commercial and industrial customers, and those who travel on public highway corridors and via public fleets.”
Over two dozen entities, ranging from businesses including Atlis Motors, ChargePoint, and WeaveGrid, to NGOs such as the American Lung Association and Wildfire, supported the TEP plan.