Dear Friends and Neighbors:

Solar energy is the cleanest form of energy and is a fast-growing sector of Tucson’s economy. The City of Tucson is continuing its support for this economic driver in our 2012 budget, by reinstating a solar incentive program expected to help up to 200 homeowners purchase solar for their homes. Mayor and Council dedicated $200,000 in the Development Services budget to offset permit fees for solar installations across the city. As one of 25 federally-designated Solar American Cities, we are keeping our commitment to this important industry.

I also want to help you lower your energy costs at home. Our office partnered with Tucson Electric Power and the Metropolitan Energy Commission on an energy conservation workshop for homeowners (information below). Please rsvp today! I also included an update about other actions we are taking to increase Tucson’s profile as a leading solar city.

In Community,

Regina Romero


Save Money and Energy! June 4 Workshop for Homeowners

Specially trained energy coaches will show you how you can save money by saving energy at home – from how to properly install weather stripping to how to install a low-flow shower head and much more. Conserving energy and lowering your monthly energy bill is the goal. Energy coaches Bill Mackey, Patricia Rigg and Joni Sawyer will lead the workshop which includes a conservation tool bag for you to take home – filled with supplies you can use immediately to make your home more energy-efficient. There will also be information about solar and water conservation programs.

Save the Date!
Saturday, June 4 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Ward 1 Council office
940 W. Alameda (west of I-10 at Grande and Alameda)

FREE – but seating is limited so rsvp today
918-8337 or email energywasteline@tep.com
For more information call Robert Bulechek at 302-4636

This workshop is sponsored by City Councilor Regina Romero, Tucson Electric Power and the Metropolitan Energy Commission.


Energy Vision: City of Tucson Solar Program Update

Solar energy is the cleanest form of energy and is a fast-growing sector of Tucson’s economy. The City of Tucson is continuing its support for this economic driver in our 2012 budget, by reinstating a solar incentive program expected to help up to 200 homeowners purchase solar for their homes. Mayor and Council dedicated $200,000 in the Development Services budget to offset permit fees for solar installations across the city. As one of 25 federally-designated Solar American Cities, we our keeping our commitment to this important industry.

Providing incentives for solar and reducing our energy overall will help our City and State meet the Arizona Corporation commission’s green Renewable Energy Standard, which requires Arizona utilities to increase their use of renewable power each year until it represents 15% of their energy in 2025.  In 2011, the policy calls on TEP to secure 3% of its power from renewables, including solar, wind, and other resources. Working together to conserve energy, we can save billions for taxpayers and help our environment.

Thanks to federal stimulus funds, the City is continuing to install solar panels on city buildings using Clean Renewable Energy (CREBs) bonds. This will result in another 2 Mega Watts (MW) of photovoltaic (PV) installed by the end of 2011, adding to our present PV portfolio of approximately 1.2 MW – which is approximately the equivalent of the total annual electric load of about 524 houses. In addition to these City-owned PV projects, the City recently dedicated a 1 MW system at Tucson Water's CAVSARP facility in the Avra Valley in partnership with SunPower. Tucson Water will be buying solar-generated electricity from that plant under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) at a cost comparable to coal-fired electricity.  We are investigating additional PPA projects on other city facilities.

These solar actions and others are part of our City's commitment to lead by example with solar. We are funding our region’s Solar OneStop center and website - http://solaronestopaz.org/ to provide comprehensive information to consumers and developers about solar opportunities in the Tucson area. The office is located downtown in the City-County public works building, 201 N. Stone, 1st Floor. If you have specific solar questions, please contact the City of Tucson Solar Energy Coordinator, Bruce Plenk, 520 837-6322 or bruce.plenk@tucsonaz.gov.

Past actions by Mayor & Council include adopting a requirement that all new city buildings meet at least 5% of their energy requirements from some aspect of solar, such as daylighting, PV or solar water heating. We also passed an ordinance requiring that all newly-built single family homes and duplexes must be solar-ready to allow for cheaper installation of solar water heating and PV panels. Other solar-friendly policy changes are ongoing in conjunction with the City’s Climate Change Committee, part of our Office for Conservation and Sustainable Development, and through the City's ongoing Sustainable Land Use Code revisions that Mayor and Council approved in 2009. Development Services provided an update to Council on May 10, 2011. Materials can be found here

The City of Tucson’s vision and goals are part of the approved 2006 Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement, to increase our use of renewable energy and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. This is an ongoing goal and we will keep you updated on our progress.