Tucson Electric Power (TEP) is mailing detailed home energy reports to some residential customers as part of a two-year pilot program designed to reduce energy consumption and lower electric bills.

Free Home Energy Reports will be mailed every other month to 25,000 customers whose accounts were randomly selected from those with a record of above-average energy consumption. The reports will show customers how their usage compares with their peers and provide customized advice for saving energy.

“Learning that you’re using more energy than other similar households can be a real incentive to make some positive changes,” said Denise Smith, director of Demand Side Resources for TEP. “Based on the success of similar efforts in other communities, we’re expecting this pilot program to generate significant savings for our customers.”

The reports compare customers’ usage with an anonymous group of “neighbors” who live nearby in similarly sized and equipped homes. They rate recipients’ energy usage as “great,” “good” or “more than average” and offer energy-saving tips that reflect the age and size of customers’ homes. Subsequent reports will allow customers to track the effectiveness of their energy-saving efforts over time.

The reports are based on research that combines TEP’s energy usage data with Pima County property records that show the size, age, construction type and other characteristics of local residences. This information is presented only anonymously and in aggregate to preserve customer privacy.

Customers who receive the reports are expected to reduce their usage by about 2 to 3 percent, on average, according to Opower, the Arlington, Va.-based company developing the program for TEP. OPower has helped to develop similar pilot programs at more than 60 utilities across the country.

In all, the program is expected to save customers a combined $1.5 million on their electric bills while reducing usage by more than 16,000 megawatt hours, enough to power nearly 1,500 homes for a year