Tucson Electric Power (TEP) is working with apartment complexes to help limited-income customers save energy and reduce monthly utility bills by installing advanced programmable thermostats.
TEP is providing nearly 1,800 Nest Learning Thermostats to apartment facilities participating in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Choice Voucher Program. The installation will be free for residents. Energy-efficient light bulbs and energy-saving strategies will be provided, along with detailed thermostat instructions.
Nest thermostat users can save an average of 15 percent on cooling bills and 10-12 percent on heating bills every year, according to studies by the manufacturer. The thermostats “learn” customer temperature preferences in approximately a week and automatically adjust the temperature to save energy. The thermostats also offer suggestions to help users reduce energy use. They can be adjusted remotely via any mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet if the home has a Wi-Fi connection.
The thermostats will be installed through one of TEP's energy efficiency programs this year. These customer-funded programs are reviewed and approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission and have been proven to be cost-effective for all customers – not just those who participate – by reducing the long-term need for more energy resources.