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Author: Monica Pugno

The benefits of conservation

Brian Heithoff, Trico CEO and GM

As we enter summer and the hottest days of the year, it is a good time to think about energy conservation. At Trico we are committed to providing reliable energy in a cost-effective manner. One way we achieve that goal is by providing our Members with guidance and tips on how to reduce energy use.

Conservation efforts have multiple benefits, including helping to reduce your bill and reducing stress on the power grid. When the summer heat arrives and air-conditioners are running, the demands on the grid increase, and so do electric bills. Each year, the demand for power from Trico’s system peaks between June and August. Trico plans for this by putting in place power supply arrangements and reserves to meet that peak.

Trico also looks to our Members to help. Relatively small actions can make a significant difference and understanding how the system works provides you with the tools to conserve. To help reduce your bill and conserve energy, you can take the following actions:

  • Defer use of pool pumps, washers, dryers, or dishwashers until after 8 p.m. or before 10 a.m.
  • Turn off unnecessary lights
  • Unplug unused electrical devices
  • Close blinds and drapes during the hottest part of the day
  • Use fans to supplement your air conditioning
  • Limit time the refrigerator door is open

You may wonder why waiting to run major appliances helps. Typically, the most critical time to conserve energy each day is between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. During that period energy usage increases as people return home from work, and the output of solar resources tapers off. That means that the stress on the grid is highest at that time.

To be clear, our intent is to provide convenient, simple actions you can take. You don’t have to wait to make dinner or avoid using your air conditioning to make a difference. We want you to enjoy your summer and taking these actions can help you save on your bill while also helping the Cooperative and your community.

Click here for more energy saving tips

How to prevent high energy bills during the summer

As summer temperatures rise, so do electric bills. Home cooling makes up a large portion of your energy bills. Try to keep the difference between the temperature of your thermostat setting and the outside temperature to a minimum. The smaller the difference, the more energy you will save.

Here are more ways to combat weather’s effects:

Weatherize your home: Your home’s first line of defense against the weather is physically blocking hot or cold air from entering. Air leaks or ineffective insulation in your walls means that the outside weather is coming in and your comfortable indoor air is leaving. Windows are trouble spots for air escaping or entering. Consider installing shades, blinds, curtains or shutters if your windows don’t already have any, especially on south- and west-facing windows. Close these in summer months to reduce heat from sunlight and open them in winter months to heat your home naturally, since 76 percent of sunlight that shines on standard double-pane windows enters your house to become heat.

Adjust the temperature with seasons, at night or when you leave the house: The greater the difference between the temperature outside and what’s set inside, the harder your home HVAC system has to work. Keeping your thermostat at the same setting all the time leads to it working harder when outside temperatures rise or dip into extreme numbers. The US Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer and 68 in the winter when you are home. You can set it closer to the outside temperature when you are asleep or away to save even more. A smart thermostat can automatically learn your schedule and change the temperature for you before you wake or return home, so it feels just as comfortable.

Use room-specific heating or cooling measures: By changing the temperature only in the rooms people are using, your HVAC doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain the entire house at a set temperature. If you’re feeling hot in the summer, try sitting under or by a fan to feel about 4 to 6 degrees cooler. Since fans don’t actually change the air temperature and only cool you down when you are near it, make sure to turn it off when you leave the room. With incandescent and halogen light, 90 percent of the energy used is wasted to generate more heat. Switch them to LEDs, and this will lead to less heat entering your room and less energy used.

Cook outdoors: When the weather is nice, put your grill to use! During summer months, cooking outdoors is a great way to save energy and eliminate unwanted heat from cooking indoors.

With a few easy changes, your home will be more equipped to handle the hot outside air without sacrificing inside comfort – and these changes will benefit you as the cool arrives this winter as well.

Click here for more energy saving tips

Linemen keep their skills sharp with pole top rescue training

Trico’s safety record is remarkable, but our linemen still need to be prepared for the worst. That’s why they train regularly in the yard behind Trico’s headquarters.

Of all the training that linemen receive, pole top rescue training is one of the most important.

“A guy on your crew could get injured up on the pole and you have to be safe and efficient at getting him down and getting him emergency medical assistance as fast as possible,” Colby Brown said.

Co-ops are in my blood, says new CEO/GM

Brian Heithoff, Trico CEO and GM

Hello everyone. As you may know, my first day as your cooperative’s CEO/General Manager was April 12th.

This is an exciting time to join Trico. It’s an impressive organization with a good safety record, financial strength and exceptional Member service. Everyone has been very friendly, not only here at Trico, but everywhere I have gone in Marana and the surrounding areas.

It is my experience that when an organization functions as well Trico does, it is because employees do not merely come to work to make a living. They are here because they’re passionate about serving others and because fulfilling a cooperative’s purpose of improving people’s lives is central to who they are. This is consistent with who I am as a person too and what I plan to bring to Trico as its new CEO and General Manager.

I feel co-ops are in my blood. I am the oldest of nine kids and grew up on a family farm in Iowa. My parents still own our farm. Along with running the farm, my parents were also contract meter readers for the local co-op and my uncle was an Assistant General Manager. My dad was also a director on a local farm co-op board for many years, including having served as their Board President.

I’ve worked at electric co-ops for more than three decades, over 20 of which has been in the CEO capacity. For the past 10 years, I have been the CEO/General Manager of High West Energy, Inc., which serves Members in southeast Wyoming, western Nebraska, and northern Colorado, including the Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Trico is the fifth co-op I have worked at and I plan to retire here.

I hope that Trico’s caring and encouraging attitude is maintained and even strengthened as time goes by. We seem to be an employee group that understands the importance of supporting and helping each other and our Members.

Over the next few months, my goal is to get to know our employees, the Trico Board, the districts we serve and leadership at other Arizona cooperatives. However, most importantly, I want to meet you, our Members. Feel free to call, stop by the office or email me at bheithoff@trico.coop to introduce yourself or to ask me questions.

Thank you Directors Stockwell and DeSpain for your years of service on the Trico Board

The Trico Board and Trico’s staff would like to thank Directors Barbara Stockwell and Brad DeSpain for their years of service on the Board. Barbara has been on the Board since 1979, while Brad joined in 1994.

“I want you to know I greatly appreciate the years of support that you have provided me as I served on Trico’s board and I want to thank you,” Brad said. “I wish that I could shake people’s hands and hug you and let you know how much it meant to me in my life.”

Brad and his wife, Donna, have been Trico Members for 50 years. He has served on the Trico Board for 25 years. He is a self‑employed rancher. He was Utilities Director for the Town of Marana and managed the Cortaro-Marana Irrigation District.

Brad said since he started on the Trico Board in the early 90s his main purpose was to help provide electrical energy at a reliable and competitive cost for our Members and agriculture.

“I think of one of the biggest accomplishments for me on the board was the opportunity to help select three CEOs and the progress that Trico has made with those CEOs and for the work that I have done to try to get more reliability,” he said.

Barbara has been a Member for more than 50 years. She was a schoolteacher and owned the Stockwell Honey Co. in Arivaca (with its 1,400 hives) for many years. Barbara remembers when Trico linemen came to her family’s home in Arivaca in 1958 to help set up a pole.

“We are a Trico family from beginning to end,” she said. “Trico likes to be community oriented and responsive to Members’ needs. I was proud to be part of it.”

Barbara said she has cherished representing the Members of District 5, which includes Arivaca, Sasabe and Green Valley.

“It was a good experience and I thank the Trico Members who supported me all these years,” she said.

Trico COVID Assistance Program ends May 17

Trico will be ending its COVID Assistance Program on May 17, 2021. To receive aid under that program, please submit an application and required documentation by that date.

After May 17, Trico will continue to provide assistance to our Members through Wildfire (formerly Arizona Community Action Association) and their partner agencies.

Click here to apply for aid or obtain information about other resources.

Black, Burruel, King are elected to the Trico Board

The Trico Board of Directors will have some new faces. During Trico’s 2021 Annual Meeting held via Zoom on Saturday, April 24, the election results for Districts 1, 2 and 5 were announced.

In District 1 (Marana, Dove Mountain), there were three candidates: Don Black, Todd Rooney and Tony Thomas. Mr. Black, the incumbent, was reelected for a three-year term. Arnoldo Burruel ran unopposed in District 2 (Marana, Avra Valley) and will replace Brad DeSpain, who is retiring from the Board after 27 years. In District 5 (Arivaca, Sasabe, Green Valley), Joe King, who was running against Damon Goodmanson, was elected to replace Barbara Stockwell, who is retiring after serving on the Board since 1979.

Voting was conducted using electronic and mail-in ballots, and voting was completed on April 21. A total of 569 votes were received, which was enough for a quorum. To assure a quorum for purposes of approving the Minutes, Trico asked the Members who voted in the Election of Directors to also vote on the Meeting Minutes for both 2019 and 2020. A quorum was established, and the minutes were approved.

President Larry Hinchliffe opened the meeting by welcoming everyone who joined on Zoom.

“While this isn’t the ideal way to hold an annual meeting, it is the safest – and we hope all of you out there are safe and healthy,” Mr. Hinchliffe said. “We are hopeful that next year we will be able to see you all in person.”

In his President’s Report, Mr. Hinchliffe discussed the challenges Trico faced in 2020. In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year also included a significant forest fire that affected Trico’s Members on Mt. Lemmon.

“I would like to thank the firefighters and other agencies from across the country that came to Arizona and assisted in protecting Members’ homes and businesses on Mt. Lemmon,” Mr. Hinchliffe said.

Mr. Hinchliffe also thanked all the Trico employees who put in long hours, in some cases working alongside fire crews, to restore service quickly and then rebuild the line serving the mountain. He said by using the backup generator located near the Mt. Lemmon Fire Department, Trico was able to minimize the amount of time Members were out of power.

Mr. Hinchliffe highlighted Trico’s community giving over the past year and Trico’s work to help those affected by COVID-19. In total Trico committed to giving over $900,000 to the local community and Members.

Treasurer Nick Buckelew presented the 2020 Treasurer’s Report. Mr. Buckelew said Trico had a good financial year and was able to retire $4.8 million in Capital Credits, which were returned to the Members primarily in the form of bill credits on their December bills. The 2021 Annual Meeting Program and Report included the 2020 Audited Financial Information.

Mr. Hinchliffe took a moment to recognize Directors Barbara Stockwell and Brad DeSpain for their years of service on the Board. Ms. Stockwell has been on the Board since 1979, while Mr. DeSpain joined in 1994.

Mr. Hinchliffe introduced Trico’s new CEO and General Manager Brian Heithoff. Mr. Heithoff expressed how excited he is to join Trico.

“It’s an honor to be part of the Trico team,” Mr. Heithoff said. “I started April 12, so I’ve been here about two weeks. I can tell you we have an outstanding team dedicated to serving our Members.”

Raffle winners

As a thank you to Members for participating in the election and the online meeting, Trico held two raffles. Trico used a random number generator to select the raffle winners. Congratulations to the following winners:

  • Vernon Sutphin, $50 bill credit
  • Michael and Loraine Weisbrod, $50 bill credit
  • Lorena Arias, $75 bill credit
  • Lori Cannavino, $75 bill credit
  • Yvonne Coffman, $100 bill credit
  • Beverly Rogers, $100 bill credit
  • Trixie Mann, $100 Amazon/Visa gift card
  • James and Ruth Martin, $100 Amazon/Visa gift card
  • Kelsea Durbin, iPad
  • Rianna Larsen, iPad
  • Carol Mills, iPad
  • Juanita Padilla, iPad
  • Craig Toedtman, iPad
GET IN TOUCH

FAX: (520) 353-1640

WHERE TO FIND US

Trico Electric Cooperative
8600 W. Tangerine Rd.
Marana, AZ 85658

Opening Hours:
Mon – Fri: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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