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Current program on target to exceed energy efficiency & conservation goals

San Antonio, TX – July 29, 2019 – CPS Energy’s Save for Tomorrow Energy Plan (STEP) is an enterprise program that was thoughtfully designed to reduce its community’s demand for electricity by 771 megawatts (MW), which is equivalent to the output of a large power plant, by the end of 2020.  The estimated cost of the program was initially estimated at $849 million.  Customer participation has been so successful that STEP will exceed its original MW reduction goal by the end of this year, and it is expected that San Antonio will reduce its electric demand by more than 800 MW, at a cost that is 15% less than originally forecasted.

Below is a summarized list of STEP accomplishments since 2009:

Program Type Context Program Performance* Volume – MW Saved*
Solar Rebates for customers who install solar PV systems on their home or business. $134 million in solar rebates issued for 17,000 solar system installations. 162 MW
Energy Efficiency Rebates for customers who adopt energy efficient lighting, air conditioners, attic insulation, and other products. $283 million in rebates for 236,000 customers. 312 MW
Casa Verde Weatherization Free weatherization (insulation and other measures) upgrades for income-qualified customers designed to increase the energy efficiency of their homes. Nearly 30,000 homes weatherized, helping those families save approximately $400 on their electric bill every year. 96 MW
Demand Response Programs to help reduce peak energy demand for both residential and commercial customers and include programs like WiFi Thermostat Rewards and Reduce My Use. Reduction in the demand for energy during the hottest parts of summer from 740 large commercial customers and 150,000 thermostats installed in residential customer homes 255 MW
Total 825 MW

*Estimated through completion of program in January 2020.

With the first initiative nearing a successful completion, CPS Energy will be reaching out to the community to solicit input on FlexSTEP, the next generation of energy management programs for its customers.  Seeking feedback from a broad array of customers and key stakeholders, CPS Energy will use the information that it gathers to update, design, and create programs and services that meet the needs of its diverse set of customers.

President & CEO of CPS Energy, Paula Gold-Williams, commented, “I often say that everything costs money and once again the spend was structured to be strategic and beneficial to our customers. This program began in 2009 when we were authorized by a City of San Antonio ordinance to fund STEP as part of everyone’s bills.  It is a community-based program and along the way, it has allowed our San Antonio metropolitan community to achieve the following:

  • While still accommodating economic growth, we thoughtfully controlled energy usage throughout San Antonio. Conversely, uncontrolled growth would have pushed us to build new power plants too quickly. This has kept customer bills from rising too steeply, over the last six years.
  • We successfully replaced older Deely coal-fired operating units with a newer gas plant that is in nearby Seguin, TX.
  • We continue to successfully diversify our power generation assets, including now having close to 600 MW of solar and over 1,000 MW of wind capacity.  Our other gas, newer and less emitting coal, and nuclear power plants continue to run well. Our comprehensive assets and programs serve both our city and state very well.
  • We have one of the largest thermostat management programs in the state and nation.”

“We have blended our STEP results with our diverse power portfolio very effectively, balancing important considerations about security, safety, reliability, resilience, the environment and affordability, every step of way.  It is our accountability and honor to do so, 24/7/365,” Gold-Williams concluded.

CPS Energy will host focus groups, working sessions and stakeholder meetings to ensure that they hear all points of view.  Additionally, helpful information will be posted online, including the addition of a new survey tool located at  CPS Energy will also make this quick survey, and other key information, available at their People First! Community Fairs and Customer Service Centers. CPS Energy feels proud that its level of commitment to energy conservation and investment in the San Antonio community is a model for other utilities in Texas, and they look forward to continuing to provide secure, safe, affordable, reliable, environmentally responsible, and resilient energy for their customers.

Trace Levos

Trace is a part of the Corporate Communications team at CPS Energy.

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