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Author: mlitwicki

Go Electric with Trico


Go Electric with Trico and Save Money!

April 27, 2023

Electricity is becoming cleaner every day and Members can save money on their energy costs over time.

Trico provides our Members with the latest information on purchasing an electric vehicle (EV). From tax incentives and benefits to a savings calculator, our EV website provides details on different EV models and what type of EV may be best for you. The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) approved Trico’s Experimental Electric Vehicle Tariff and that tariff will be available soon. Members who charge their EVs between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. will pay a discounted rate.

To learn more about electric vehicles, visit our website here. You can also call us at (520) 744‑2944 to speak with one of our Sustainable Energy experts.

Additional Resources:

  1. View fuel economy and energy saving EV tips here.
  2. Learn how EV drivers save almost $800 per year here.
  3. See your top questions answered in this EV 101 guide.

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CEO Column: Cost-Effective, Sustainable Power


A balanced approach to cost-effective, sustainable power

April 26, 2023

Have you ever considered how handy it is to flip a switch or push a button and have instant conveniences?

It seems so simple; you get a little cold or hot, you bump your thermostat up or down; your family gets hungry, you grab food from your refrigerator and heat it up in the microwave or cook a meal on your stove; stressful day at work, you jump into a hot tub of water.

Electricity is one of those reliable and instant conveniences. More than that, it is necessary to support our daily lives and plays a vital role in powering our future (think electric vehicles, heat pumps, and smart home devices).

Trico takes our responsibility to deliver cost-effective and sustainable power to our Members very seriously. I’d like to use this month’s column to make the point that to accomplish cost-effective AND sustainable, it requires a balanced portfolio of renewable and non-renewable sources, at least for the near and medium term.

As many of you know, there are various methods of electricity generation.

Dispatchable resources include coal and natural gas, which are used to generate electricity by combustion (thermal power). Nuclear power can also be generated through nuclear fission using uranium, the heat of which raises the temperature of water and rotates a steam turbine.

Among renewable energies, sunlight is directly converted into electricity (photovoltaics), rotation energy by wind is converted into electricity (wind power), and rotating water wheels are turned by running water to generate (hydro).

Each technology has its strengths and weaknesses, and currently there is no single source of power that can solve Trico’s mission to be cost-effective AND sustainable all on its own. A quick review of the weaknesses of each technology shows that a diverse mix of resources is vital.

  • Nuclear – Expensive, and hard to finance or site.
  • Coal – Emits carbon and is difficult to adjust to changing load requirements.
  • Wind and Solar – Intermittent, because the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine all hours of the day. Coupling these resources with battery storage helps, but given current technology 24/7 coverage with batteries is not cost effective or practical.
  • Hydro – Subject to water availability and impactful on the environment.
  • Natural Gas – Cost is subject to natural gas markets which can be volatile and emits carbon (although substantially less than coal).

So, what do we do?

It is Trico’s goal to reduce our carbon emissions by 50% by 2032. This will result in increased sustainability at a reasonable cost. We have committed to this goal because it serves our mission, not because of any regulatory requirement. We don’t dispute the importance of transitioning our generation mix over time, and our resource planning shows it can be done in a cost-effective manner. It may be counter-intuitive, but we are also including natural gas generation in our plans. Natural gas generation can ramp up at any time of the day to meet Members’ swings in power usage and to adjust to changing weather. This is necessary to help us meet your power requirements 24/7, 365.

Could we reduce our carbon emissions faster? It may be possible but is not practical. With current technology, the result would be increased costs and/or hours during the year in which power may not be available, and because of supply chain issues related to renewable generation equipment the facilities required might not even be able to be built by the time needed.

Which leads to the point of this column, in order to accomplish sustainability AND cost effectiveness, it requires a mix of multiple generation resources. That has been our strategy in the past and is our strategy moving forward, all to meet our Members’ evolving energy needs. We know you depend on us and it is our privilege to serve our Members and our community.

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Thank You 2023 Annual Meeting Attendees


Thank you for attending our 2023 Annual Meeting

April 27, 2023

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2023 Trico Annual Meeting on April 1 at Casino del Sol Resort. With 634 attendees, it was a great meeting where we shared with our Members the vision and future of Trico. Food, raffle prizes and fun were enjoyed by all!

“We attended the meeting, and it was good. We felt you did a good job with all your information. Thank you for making the meeting enjoyable with food and prizes too!” Narda McClain commented on Facebook.

The Annual Meeting provides Members with the opportunity to get to know their cooperative. This year, Members heard from Trico’s Board of Directors and Staff on the strong financial condition of Trico, and Trico’s vision for serving its Members in 2023 and beyond.

At the meeting, Director Darrell Birkhimer of District 3 (Picture Rocks, Avra Valley, Star Valley), and Director Larry Hinchliffe of District 6 (Vail, Corona de Tucson), were reelected to the Board.

Congratulations to Donald Roberson of SaddleBrooke, who won the 2004 Chevrolet Silverado truck. Other prizes included Trico bill credits, an iPad, virtual reality goggles, a RoboVac, Beats headphones, Nintendo Switch and two 42-inch TVs.

We hope to see you at next year’s annual meeting.

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CEO Column: 2023 Annual Meeting


You’re invited to our Annual Meeting on April 1, 2023

February 23, 2023

Most consumers likely don’t equate active involvement with their electric company with helping their community. But Trico is not an ordinary utility company. We’re a cooperative, and our business model is meant to serve our Members.

Spending time with you and hearing your take on our community’s energy future is important to us. We hope you will be able to attend the Trico Annual Meeting on Saturday, April 1, 2023 at Casino del Sol Resort. We’re starting the meeting an hour later than usual at 11 a.m. We hope the time change will allow more Members to attend.

The Annual Meeting is your chance as a Member to learn about your electric cooperative, make your voice heard, and meet the faces behind the cooperative. The meeting will include a report on Trico’s efforts to serve its Members’ interests and provide cost-effective, reliable and sustainable energy solutions. There will be food, raffle prizes and trees for sale. You must be present to win the prizes.

The Annual Meeting is also a time for Members to vote for your Board of Directors. There are two Board of Director positions up for re-election: District 3 (Avra Valley, Picture Rocks, Star Valley) and District 6 (Corona de Tucson, Vail). The director seats will be formally elected at the Annual Meeting. Members can vote at the Annual Meeting. For Members who prefer online voting or are unable to attend the meeting, online voting is available on our website at www.trico.coop/annual-meeting through March 29, 2023 at 11 a.m.

The board of directors is comprised of seven Members who live and work right here in our local service area, so they are in the best position to know where community investments are most needed. We hope you’ll consider running for the board in the future – we’re always looking for folks who care about our community and who are willing to serve.

Every year, we invest funds to make updates to our local system, which helps maintain reliability and grid resilience. Think of it this way: every time you pay your electric bill, you’re investing in your community because all the money we take in goes to improve the local community. By making these investments in our local system, we can ensure you have reliable power for everyday life.

We hope you’ll exercise the benefits of your co-op membership and join us for the Annual Meeting on April 1, 2023. We look forward to seeing you!

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Beware of Scams


Beware of Scams

February 22, 2023

We’re always looking out for our Members. That’s why we want to you be aware of scams that Members have told us about.

Some Members have received calls threatening to disconnect your power if they don’t pay their bill within a short window of time (30 mins, 1 hour, etc.). Recognizing the signs of a scam can help you avoid falling victim to one. Scammers pressure you to act immediately. Scammers tell you to pay in a specific way. We may email or text you about our programs and services, but we will never ask for personal information via email or text. If you are unsure about a call claiming to be from Trico, call us directly at (520) 744-2944.

We have also received increased reports of door-to-door solar sales scams from our Members. Reminder: Trico does NOT do solar sales or hire any other companies to sell on our behalf.

Tips to watch for:

  • Be suspicious of unmarked vehicles
  • Ask for identification
  • Get the business card or company name
  • Use caution when providing access to your home
  • Use caution before providing any personal information, including banking info.
  • Contact Trico for verification or to report a potential scam

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Keeping Our Communities Clean


Keeping Our Communities Clean

February 20, 2023

Concern for community is one of the seven cooperative principles. In January, several Trico employees and their families picked up trash along a 44-mile stretch of Arizona Highway 286 from Three Points to Sasabe.

Melissa Owen thanked Trico and the 120+ volunteers who donated a Saturday morning to clear Highway 286 and Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge of 199 bags of trash.

The highway runs through Buenos Aires National Wildlife refuge, so trash along the roadway is not only unsightly but dangerous for raptors, pronghorn, whitetail deer and other wildlife.

Thank you to our volunteers for helping keep our communities clean and safe!

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Join Us April 1st for Your Annual Meeting


Join us April 1 for your Annual Meeting

January 24, 2023

Most consumers likely don’t equate active involvement with their electric company with helping their community. But Trico is not an ordinary utility company. We’re a cooperative, and our business model is meant to serve the Members and the community in which it operates.

Spending time with you and hearing your take on our community’s energy future is important to us. We hope you will be able to attend the Trico Annual Meeting on Saturday, April 1, 2023 at 11 a.m. at Casino del Sol Resort. The annual meeting is an opportunity to visit with employees and the Board of Directors as well as meet other Members. There will be food, raffle prizes and trees for sale.

The annual meeting is also a time for Members to vote for your board of directors. The board of directors is comprised of seven Members who live and work right here in our local service area, so they are in the best position to know where community investments are most needed. We hope you’ll consider running for the board in the future – we’re always looking for folks who care about our community and who are willing to serve.

Every year, we invest funds to make updates to our local system, which helps maintain reliability and grid resilience. Think of it this way: every time you pay your electric bill, you’re investing in your community because all the money we take in goes to improve the local community. By making these investments in our local system, we can ensure you have reliable power for everyday life.

We hope you’ll exercise the benefits of your co-op membership and join us for the annual meeting on April 1, 2023. We look forward to seeing you!

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Apprentices Gain Experience at Lineman’s Rodeo


Apprentices Gain Experience at Lineman’s Rodeo

January 24, 2023

Apprentice linemen Tyler Hornung, Martin Mares and Shem Scott had a great time learning and competing against apprentices from other state electric cooperatives and utilities at the Arizona Lineman Rodeo in November.

The Lineman Rodeo is an event created to offer lineworkers a way to showcase their pride in their profession. The event is composed of volunteers devoted to the promotion of educational and electrical safety activities, including, but not limited to, the continued education of lineworkers, building relationships of trust, teaching teamwork techniques, sharing of ideas to bring innovation to the industry, and networking that will foster better working relationships between utilities. Martin said the Lineman Rodeo was a great experience. “I met a lot of apprentices at different steps of the apprenticeship. It was great camaraderie.”

Martin said his favorite events were the Hurtman Rescue and the Obstacle Course. He said both events make you a better climber. “The Hurtman Rescue makes you practice over and over on what needs to be done if you ever need to rescue someone hurt on the pole. The obstacle course helps you find what works better for you on installing or replacing material on the pole.”

Crew leader Jeremy Konski, who volunteered as a judge for the rodeo, said Tyler, Martin and Shem did well for their first rodeo. “Overall, it was a great experience, and we look forward to next year,” he said.

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CEO Column: We’re Looking Out for Your Interests


CEO Column: We’re Looking Out for Your Interests

January 24, 2023

We’re looking out for your interests

Trico is dedicated to making a difference in the communities we serve by providing our Members cost-effective and sustainable energy solutions.

It’s a new year and we want you to know that we are always looking out for your interests. As a non-profit, our focus is on how we can better serve you, our Members. Here’s a look back at what we accomplished in 2022. 

Capital Credits: In December, Trico retired $4.25 million in Capital Credits to our Members. We are proud that this is Trico’s 13th straight year retiring Capital Credits. Since 2010, Trico has returned more than $32 million to its Members. Look on your December bill for your Capital Credit Retirement Allocation.

Renewable Energy: Trico continues to make community scale renewables part of its overall resource planning, to meet the energy needs of our Members now and in the future. In 2022, Trico installed our third community-scale solar project and first battery energy storage system. The Chirreon Solar & Battery Storage facility, located near SaddleBrooke, is a 10-megawatt photovoltaic solar generating facility and a 15-megawatt hour/30 MWh battery storage system. We have plans for more solar and battery projects to provide cost-effective and sustainable energy.

Community Giving: In 2022, the Trico Electric Charitable Trust awarded $70,000 in POWER Grants to non-profits providing critical services in southern Arizona. Since 2008, Trico’s POWER Grants program has provided $735,000 in funding to local non-profit organizations in our community. Our employees host food drives and other donation events throughout the year. For the holidays, employees donated cash and several boxes of toys for Toys for Tots.

Dependability: Trico is growing, along with many of the communities we serve. To keep up with this growth and maintain an excellent standard of reliability, Trico is investing almost $70 million over the next four years to continue improving our electric infrastructure. This includes upgrades to two existing substations (Green Valley Substation and Marana Substation) and installing a new substation delivery point (Adonis Substation, which will be north of Tangerine Road and east of I-10 in Marana).

Innovation: Our employees are always looking for new and innovative ways to serve our Members. We now produce a monthly Livewire video. We encourage you to follow us on social media to keep updated on what’s happening at Trico.

Thank you for being a Trico Member. We look forward to serving you in 2023.

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Trico 2022 Scholarships Benefited 97 Students


Trico 2022 Scholarships Benefited 97 Students

January 24, 2023

Each year, the Trico Foundation awards scholarships to Trico Members and their families to attend a university, community or vocational college. In 2022, 97 students received $500,000 in scholarships.

“I am so grateful to have received the Trico Scholarship throughout my time in college,” said Rylee Schull, who graduated from Grand Canyon University (GCU) in December. “It has been such a blessing to have that help financially.”

Rylee took classes in marketing, hospitality management and sports management at GCU. During her time in college, she worked for GCU’s social media and was a student leader on campus.

After graduation she plans to explore opportunities in the marketing/hospitality industry.

The Trico Foundation is a non-profit foundation organized in 1985 and funded through Capital Credit Retirements that are gifted or unclaimed. Since 1985, the Trico Foundation has awarded over $3.1 million – benefiting over 855 students.

Learn more about scholarships and how to donate your Capital Credits to the Trico Foundation here

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Tis the Season to be Merry & Save Energy


Tis the Season to Be Merry & Save Energy

December 9, 2022

Decking the halls doesn’t have to take a toll on your energy bill or put your home at risk.

Here are some easy ways to save energy this holiday season:

  • Use an automatic timer to manage energy used by outdoor holiday lighting and other electric décor.
  • Did you know LED holiday lights use about 80% less energy than incandescent string lights? Make the switch to LED holiday lights. LEDs are energy efficient, brighter and cool to the touch.
  • Even if the weather isn’t all that frightful, the fire truly is delightful! Remember to close the damper when you’re done using the fireplace.
  • Countertop appliances use less energy than larger appliances, so use them when you’re preparing a smaller feast.
  • Turn down the thermostat before guests arrive for holiday parties. Heat from your kitchen and a house full of people will keep your home warm.
  • Smart plugs reduce standby energy use and can be automated to create a more efficient home for the holidays! Set up timers for your Christmas tree, winter villages and decorative lighting this season and start saving.

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Trico Retires $4.25 Million in Capital Credits


Trico Retires $4.25 Million in Capital Credits

December 8, 2022

Trico is a non-profit, electric cooperative, and one of the ways we serve our Members is returning Capital Credits. This year the Board of Directors approved the retirement of $4.25 million in Capital Credits. We are proud that this is Trico’s 13th straight year retiring Capital Credits. 

What are Capital Credits? When Trico’s revenues exceed its cost of operations, a profit (margin) is created. Trico allocates its profits to its Members in the form of Capital Credits. Annually, when the Cooperative’s financial condition permits, Trico pays, or retires, a portion of the allocated Capital Credits.

This month, Trico will retire Capital Credits totaling $4.25 million, consisting of $4.1 million from Trico and $150,000 from the Arizona Electric Power Cooperative. Members will see their Capital Credit Retirement on their December bill. Active accounts will see a Capital Credit Retirement posted as a credit on their bill. Inactive accounts will receive a check for a refund over $10. If a Member moves or no longer has service, Trico must have their current address to send capital credit notices and retirements in the future.

We work hard to provide service in a cost-effective manner so we can return Capital Credits to our Members. Since 2010, Trico has returned more than $32 MILLION to its Members. That’s money that stays in our local communities.

The bottom line, Capital Credits are just one of the many benefits of being a Member of Trico! We hope this brightens your holidays.

Learn more about capital credits at www.trico.coop/capital-credits. If you have additional questions about your Capital Credits, contact us at 520-744-2944, ext. 1510, or by email at capitalcredits@trico.coop.

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