Tucson Electric Power will offer new rates for customers to help cover increasing costs and support investments in safe, reliable service, effective September 1, 2023.
The Arizona Corporation Commission approved rates are expected to increase the average monthly bills of residential customers by about $11 with TEP’s Basic pricing plan. The company can help customers deal with the impact through energy efficiency programs, rebates and suggestions.
Investment of about $1.8 billion in recent grid upgrades, which include new poles, transformers, power lines and other equipment as well as security enhancements, technology upgrades and new wind and solar power resources, has led to an increase in the rates. The rates will not only help TEP meet peak energy demands on its local grid but also serve the increasing energy needs of more than 14,000 customers.
“We’re doing everything possible to keep our service affordable as we build the resources we need to maintain top-tier reliability while working toward a cleaner energy future,” said Susan Gray, TEP’s President and CEO. “These new rates support investments that promote efficient, effective operations, helping us control our long-term costs and reduce our community’s carbon footprint.”
The new rates will assist low-income customers through TEP’s Lifeline program, which will offer qualifying customers monthly discounts of $20 to families with household income up to 200% of the federal poverty level. With the rates, TEP can also add new wind, solar and energy storage projects like the 250 MW Oso Grande wind farm in southeast New Mexico to help replace retiring coal-fired power plants.
The new rates will enable cost recovery for a new substation and other infrastructure connecting the new Wilmot Energy Center south of Tucson, which includes a 100 MW solar array and a 30 MW battery energy storage system.
Upgraded systems allow more efficient dispatch of power generation resources and support participation in the Western Energy Imbalance Market. The market has not only expanded TEP’s access to clean energy and balancing resources but is also expected to lower long-term energy costs for customers.