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Fall 2023 POWER Grant Recipients

Six nonprofits receive $35,000 in POWER Grants

February 1, 2024

Trico has awarded a total of $35,000 to six non-profit organizations providing critical services in southern Arizona. The grants are part of Trico’s POWER Grants program and are awarded twice a year to charities throughout our service area.  

Non-profits are selected through an application process and reviewed by a six-person committee made up of Trico employees, Members, and Board Members.

Junior Achievement of Arizona received a grant of $10,000 to provide financial literacy to students at DeGrazia Elementary School in the Marana Unified School District.

Hard Hitters for the Kingdom, Inc., received a grant of $8,000 for the Clean-Start Mobile Shower Program, which provides clean showers, hygiene supplies, clean towels and new clothing to people experiencing homelessness.

Receiving grants of $5,000 each were Gabriel’s Angels, Literacy Connects, and Wheel Fun. Gabriel’s Angels will use the funds for its pet therapy program, which allows children to read to dogs to enhance the child’s social and emotional development. Literacy Connects partners with pediatric clinics to distribute free books to children to encourage families to read together. Wheel Fun offers free after-school mountain bike clubs to students with a focus on rural public schools.

Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation received a $2,000 grant to help pay for extracurricular activities, sports, camps, supplemental clothing, individual academic tutoring and more, for children and youth in Arizona foster care.

In March, the next round of POWER Grants will be available, and Trico will be accepting applications from organizations that provide the following services: Food and Basic Needs, Housing, Health and Mental Care, and Fire and Emergency Response.

Since 2008, the POWER Grant program has awarded $840,000 in grants. POWER Grants are supported by the Trico Electric Charitable Trust, which is funded through Operation Round Up. To learn more about POWER Grants and how to donate to Operation Round Up, visit our website  


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Rooftop Solar Considerations

Questions to consider before installing rooftop solar

February 1, 2024

The benefits of installing rooftop solar panels may seem like a no-brainer, but the reality is, not every home (and homeowner’s situation) is always right for solar.

There are several factors to consider before installing a rooftop solar system, like determining if your home will receive enough sun to achieve your goals, finding the right contractor, negotiating contracts and other important details.

Investing in solar for your home is a major decision. If you’re considering rooftop solar, Trico can help. We are committed to providing information and guidance to assist Members in determining if solar is right for them. Our Energy Solutions Program Managers are available to serve as your energy partner throughout the solar interconnection process. To get started, visit our website at or call us at 520-744-2944.

Here are questions to consider before installing rooftop solar panels.

  1. What are my goals? If your primary goal is to save money on electric bills, you may be able to achieve this by improving the energy efficiency of your home. Visit our website for a full list of energy efficiency tips and to see our upcoming free webinars and resources.
  2. Is my roof suitable for solar? Your roof should be in good condition before installing solar panels. If your roof is old and in poor shape, it may need to be replaced before panels can be mounted. Additionally, your roof should receive a lot of sun to make the most of a rooftop system. Consider how much sun (and shade) the roof receives and if any trees will need to be removed. Solar panels perform best when facing south, so keep this in mind as you think about where the panels will be mounted.
  3. How long will I own the home? If you’re considering rooftop solar, you’re likely planning to stay in the home for several years. But if you plan to sell the home at some point down the road, consider that not all potential buyers will want to maintain a rooftop solar system. If you enter a contract to lease the system, carefully review the terms and what those mean if you decide to sell the property.
  4. Lease or purchase? Purchasing a rooftop solar system outright is expensive, which is why many homeowners opt to lease their solar panels. However, federal tax credits can help cover some of the costs for a new system, up to 30%. Regardless of how you decide to finance the solar system, make sure you get several quotes from qualified contractors.
  5. Can the contractor provide up-to-date documentation? Request proof and documentation of the contractor’s licensing, permitting and other credentials. Comb through company reviews. Check the contractor’s status with the Better Business Bureau, the AZ Attorney General’s Office, and the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.
  6. Does the contract seem reasonable and fair? If you decide to hire a contractor to install rooftop solar, carefully read the fine print of the contract. Do the system performance calculations seem realistic? Does the project timeframe sound reasonable? Negotiate the contract terms to fit your goals and needs.
  7. Who will maintain the solar panels? Determining who is responsible for maintaining the solar panels will depend on who owns the system. If you lease the system from a solar installer, it may be their responsibility. Periodically, solar panels may need to be cleaned as dirt and debris can impact panel productivity. Parts may also need to be replaced, so it’s important to know who will take on these responsibilities.

If you decide to install solar, you should contact Trico to understand how the interconnection process works as well as what to expect on your bill. The system will likely be connected to the electric grid, so you’ll need to sign an interconnection agreement.

Did you miss our Virtual Solar Workshop on January 16? A recording of the workshop is available on our website at


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CEO Column: 2024 Annual Meeting

CEO Column: Join Us at the Annual Meeting

February 1, 2024

Get involved! Join us at the Annual Meeting

Every Trico employee is dedicated to our mission: Making a difference in the communities we serve by providing our Members cost-effective and sustainable energy solutions. One way we live that mission is by engaging with you, our Members, to better understand your needs and strive to exceed your expectations.  

With that in mind, one of my favorite events is coming up on April 6, 2024, when Trico will host our Annual Meeting. I always look forward to this event because it’s a great opportunity for our Board of Directors and employees to talk with our Members, hear what’s on their minds, and update Members on our plans for this year and the years to come.

We hope you’ll join us for our Annual Meeting. The business section of the Annual Meeting starts at 11 a.m. at Casino del Sol Resort. Registration will open at 9 a.m., and Members can check out our informational booths and workshops from 9–11 a.m. There will be food, raffle prizes, and trees for sale. Please remember, you must be present to win prizes and please bring a copy of your bill for fast check-in. For those who are unable to attend in person, we also offer a virtual option via Facebook Live.

Whether you attend in person or online, we thank you in advance for coming to the Annual Meeting. As a cooperative, we thrive when our Members get involved. Spending time with you and hearing your take on our community’s energy future is vital to helping us understand how we can best serve your needs.

As I have noted in this column in prior months, the energy industry is in the midst of massive changes. Our Members’ needs are changing, technology is changing, and these changes impact nearly every aspect of how we manage and deliver energy solutions to local homes, schools and businesses. We are ready for the challenge and excited to share updates about Trico’s financial strength, significant projects, and plans to continue providing cost-effective, sustainable, and innovative energy solutions into the future. I hope to see you on April 6, 2024.

You have a say

You may be wondering if your opinion really makes a difference at Trico. I am happy to say YES, it does! In fact, your opinion is essential, because everything we do is shaped by the Members we serve.

Electric co-ops are democratically controlled by the Members we serve, which means you have a say in who governs our co-op. By voting in the annual director election, you can weigh in on the leaders who will make important decisions about the future of the cooperative and how Trico serves your energy needs.

Our 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, and for this year we encourage you all to vote.

We want to make voting as convenient as possible for our Members, so we offer a variety of ways for you to participate. If you join us at the Annual Meeting on April 6, you can cast your vote in person. If you’re unable to attend, you can vote using the SmartHub app or on our website at Voting on the website and SmartHub will be available starting February 12, 2024.  

The right to vote for representation on Trico’s board of directors is one of the most significant benefits of being a Member of a cooperative. We hope you’ll exercise the benefits of your co-op membership, vote, and join us for the Annual Meeting on April 6. We look forward to seeing you. Thank you for being a Member.


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Co-op Connections Upgrade

Co-op Connections Upgrades

February 1, 2024

At Trico, we’re always looking out for our Members. We are excited to announce a new feature of our Co-op Connections program: Member Protect Plus.

With Member Protect Plus, you’ll get mobile phone protection, identity theft monitoring and resolution services, roadside assistance and more! Individual and Family plans are available for $12.95 per month and $23.95 per month respectively.

The Co-op Connections program is a free benefit for being a Trico Member. Co‑op Connections has the best deals – from travel and event tickets to prescriptions and pet care – all in one place. By showing the Co-op Connections app at participating retailers, you can save money on items you purchase every day.

Take the savings with you wherever you go. Simply download the free Co-op Connections app to your phone and create an account to access thousands of deals.

Co-op Connections also offers valuable savings on prescriptions, dental, vision, hearing, diabetic supplies, lab testing, chiropractic services, and MRI and CT scans.

For more information, visit


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Save the Date Trico 2024 Annual Meeting

You’re Invited to the Trico Annual Meeting on April 6, 2024

January 1, 2024

Trico’s Annual Membership Meeting will be held on April 6, 2024, at 11 a.m. at Casino del Sol Resort.

This meeting is an excellent opportunity for Members to learn about Trico’s business from the past year and get a glimpse of what we have planned for the future. Along with the Board President and CEO speeches, the financial state of the co-op is discussed, and board elections are held at the meeting. Members enjoy breakfast, workshops, and information tables on all of Trico’s programs, allowing them to learn more about the benefits of being a Member.

We invite you to attend the Annual Membership Meeting either in-person or virtually. For those who are unable to attend in person, we will be providing a virtual attendance option via Facebook Live. We want to ensure that everyone can attend, regardless of their location.

Thank you for being a Trico Member, and we look forward to seeing you at the Annual Membership Meeting.

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Trico Scholarships Help Students Achieve Dreams

Trico Scholarships Help Students Pursue Their Dreams

January 1, 2024

Each year, the Trico Foundation awards scholarships to Trico Members and their families to attend a university, community or vocational college. In 2023, 97 students received $500,000 in scholarships.

“The Trico Scholarship gave me a boost of confidence and encouraged me to excel in my academic endeavors,” said Macy Kartchner, who is a senior at Northern Arizona University majoring in Public Health and minoring in Psychology. “Knowing that my hard work and achievements are being recognized and rewarded has motivated me immensely to put in the time to succeed in my classes. Overall, I am incredibly grateful to Trico for creating such a valuable student scholarship. It has enabled me to thrive throughout my college years.”

When Emily Gauthier was a senior in high school, she didn’t consider going to college because her family couldn’t afford it. A friend encouraged her to apply for scholarships. “My first scholarship offer was from Trico and it made going to college much more realistic. I am now only eight months from being the first college graduate in my family!” Emily is majoring in Nursing at the University of Arizona.

Karina Romero said that with help from the Trico Scholarship and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University she was able to spend a semester in Los Angeles and “work under a real-world professional journalist. During my time in L.A., I had a story picked up by USA Today! It is to date one of my greatest accomplishments.”

“The Trico scholarship has been a true blessing for me,” said Hayley Nistler, who graduated from Arizona State University in December with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Sports Science and Performance. “Thank you Trico!”

Chase Verdugo, who graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Biology, said the Trico Scholarship allowed him to focus on his studies. “With the help of the Trico Scholarship, I was able to graduate college and will be pursuing my dream of becoming a medical doctor.”

The Trico Foundation is a non-profit foundation organized in 1985 and funded through Membership Equity Retirements that are gifted or unclaimed. Since 1985, the Trico Foundation has awarded over $3.6 million – benefiting over 712 students.

Learn more about scholarships and how to donate your Membership Equity to the Trico Foundation at

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CEO Column: Innovating for Our Members

Innovating for Our Members

January 1, 2024

Since Trico was formed over 75 years ago, we have been focused on using technology, creativity, and hard work to improve the lives of our Members. From those early days to now, Trico employees have shared a commitment to providing Members with innovative energy solutions. Back then it was bringing power to areas that never had electricity before; now it includes adding cost-effective, sustainable resources, and in the coming years it will include programs to empower our Members to design their service to meet their unique needs.

Innovation is one of Trico’s core values, and something we talk about every day. We are always striving to improve the cooperative and better serve our Members. As we look forward to 2024, I want to share a few of the ways Trico is innovating to build a more resilient and reliable grid, and meet our Members needs.

The Grid of the Future

Trico is enhancing its reliability by replacing existing Oil Circuit Reclosers (OCRs) with Automated Vacuum Reclosers (AVRs). In the coming years, Trico will replace 96 OCRs with AVRs to improve the system’s capacity, reliability, and resilience. Reclosers are high-voltage switches designed to automatically address disturbances on the grid. If a problem is temporary and resolves quickly, the recloser automatically resets itself and restores power, without a need for manual intervention. Installing AVRs will reduce maintenance requirements, give grid operators greater visibility and control of the system, and allow Trico to set up protection profiles to reduce the frequency and length of outages.

Power Supply

Innovation on power supply is all about balance. Trico is continuing to add solar generation and battery storage, supporting Members who choose to install solar at their homes and businesses, and working with our generation partners to invest in new efficient natural gas technology. The goal of this diverse portfolio is to provide reliable, cost-effective, and sustainable service to our Members.

In early 2024, Trico will complete installation of a 10MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) at Trico’s Sahuarita Substation. The Sahuarita BESS will be able to power around 2,500 homes for about four hours. The BESS will allow Trico to buy and store energy when wholesale prices are low, which will help Trico avoid expensive market purchases and save money for all Members.

Stay tuned for future updates on additional power supply projects that will be completed or started in 2024. Throughout the year we will be sharing details on several projects that will help Trico meet our goal of reducing emissions by 50% by 2032, while ensuring reliable service and affordable prices.

Rate Options

Trico is working to develop a variety of rate options that will provide our Members with choice, and empower Members to better manage their energy usage. The new rates will include additional options for Members with electric vehicles, options for those who want to serve their load with more renewable energy, and other options to help Members tailor their service to match their lifestyle.

The New Year brings hope, opportunities, and new challenges, and Trico is ready to take on the year with a spirit of service and innovation. As always, we are thankful for the opportunity to serve you, our Members. Happy New Year from Trico!

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Apprentice Lineworkers Participate in State Rodeo

Apprentice Lineworkers show off their skills at the state rodeo

January 1, 2024

Congratulations to our Apprentice Lineworkers Anthony Anaya, Colby Brown, Conor Garcia, Tyler Hornung, Martin Mares, Troy Mead and Matt Ward for their effort at the Arizona Lineworkers Rodeo hosted by Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative (SSVEC) November 7–8 in Benson.

The competition put 43 lineworkers through a series of challenges, beginning with a written test assessing their knowledge before heading outdoors. The hurt-man rescue drill is designed to emulate an on-site emergency where a lineworker lowers a fellow lineworker, a victim played by a life-size dummy.

There’s a technical obstacle course, a mystery event, and two team events, to install an overhead secondary, and cross‑arm change‑out. All events are designed to reinforce fundamental skills, safety, and challenge the resourcefulness of each apprentice.

Tyler finished third overall in individual events. Colby had the fastest time in the Mystery Event and placed fourth in the Obstacle Course. Conor and Colby finished third and fourth respectively in the Hurt-Man Rescue. Team Trico also placed well in the team events.

“The State Rodeo this year was great,” Martin said. “Having all seven apprentices there was a huge help, from helping each other out on events, letting each other know what to look for on the mystery event and having them there cheering each other on was a great experience.”

Martin’s favorite event was hurt-man rescue. “Having this event in the rodeo makes us work on our climbing and perfecting our rescue also,” he said. 

We are proud to see our Apprentice Lineworkers’ commitment to safety, learning and serving our Members. Great work, team Trico!

Hector Acuna of The Herald Review contributed to this story.

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Member Appreciation Event Thank You!

Thank you for attending our appreciation event at Marana Pumpkin Patch

December 1, 2023

We want to thank the record number of Members who attended our Member Appreciation Event on October 25 at the Marana Pumpkin Patch.

“What a great family community event,” Jessica Foster shared on Trico’s Facebook page. “I saw so many friends. It was awesome getting to visit and catch up.”

We also want to thank the Marana Pumpkin Patch for providing a great venue for our Members to enjoy the holiday season. Admission to the pumpkin patch included pumpkins, corn maze, rides, games, petting zoo, diesel train and more.

Jenn Folino said that this was her family’s first time going to the Marana Pumpkin Patch and they had a great time. “It’s so awesome Trico does this for Members. Thank you for the experience!”

“Thank you to all the Trico employees who sacrificed their night so that we could enjoy ours. We appreciate you and thought it was a very nice event,” Dan Carsons said.

“I hope we can do this again next year. What a great gift to your Members. Thank you Trico!” Kimberly Morey said.

Thank you for being a Member and we hope to see you at a future community event.

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Trico Cares About Community

Trico Cares About Our Community

November 1, 2023

Concern for Community is one of the seven cooperative principles that Trico lives by. Trico sponsors many community events and attends events when feasible. We enjoy engaging with our Members and educating them about the benefits of being a Member.

Recently, Trico staff attended community festivals in Arivaca and Three Points. We also shared strategies to improve home energy efficiency at the Citizens for Picture Rocks Monthly Meeting.

Our employees also volunteer at the Sahuarita Food Bank and throughout the community. On September 9, Trico employees and their families participated in the 9/11 National Day of Service in Marana. Our team helped clean up the Heritage River Park.

We look forward to seeing you at a future community event.

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Trico Awards $35,000 in POWER Grants to Local Nonprofits

In June, five non-profit organizations received a total of $35,000 in grants from the Trico Electric Charitable Trust, which is funded through Operation Round Up. The grants are part of Trico’s POWER Grants program and are awarded twice a year to charities throughout southern Arizona.

Receiving grants of $9,000 each were the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona (Amado) and Sahuarita Food Bank & Community Resource Center. Receiving a grant of $8,000 was Borderlands Produce Rescue. Arivaca Fire District Auxiliary received a $7,000 grant. Receiving a $2,000 grant was Mt. Lemmon Firefighters Foundation.

“We’re grateful to receive a Trico POWER Grant to be given to the Arivaca Fire District to purchase new fire hoses. With this grant, we will have enough hose to be able to work a fire and then put the trucks back in service immediately,” said Fire Chief Tangye Beckham.

Since 2008, the POWER Grant program has awarded $805,000 in grants. Learn more a

“As a cooperative, Trico is dedicated to serving its Members and our community. We have been a part of these communities for over 75 years, and our POWER Grants program is one of the many ways we help to make a positive difference,” said Brian Heithoff, Trico CEO/General Manager.

The Trico Electric Charitable Trust is funded through Operation Round Up (ORU), a program that allows Members to round up their electric bill to the next whole dollar. Those extra cents are used to assist community organizations, schools, veteran’s groups, first responders, and food banks. For more information, visit

Trico helps bring power to the Navajo Nation

Concern for Community and Cooperation Among Cooperatives are two of seven principles that cooperatives like Trico pursue. In June, Trico employees Bryan English, Joe Tsethlikai, Tyler Hornung and Conor Garcia spent a week in Chinle, Ariz. – near Canyon de Chelly National Monument – to bring power to the community as part of the Light Up Navajo program.

Trico is the first cooperative in the state of Arizona to participate in the mutual-aid program that began in 2019 to extend electricity to homes without power. According to the American Public Power Association, of the approximately 55,000 homes on the Navajo Nation, nearly 14,000 still do not have electricity. They represent 75% of all U.S. households without power.

Tsethlikai, who is a descendant of the Zuni people, said it is unthinkable that in 2023 there are people in the United States without electricity.

“Being half-native, I’m glad I got the opportunity to help them,” he said. “They need all the help they can get. It’s going to be a long process. At the rate they’re going, it will take 30 years for everyone to get power. Until they have electricity, they don’t have access to basic necessities that we take for granted, such as water, ice to keep their food cold, telephones, internet, or indoor plumbing.”

The working conditions in Chinle weren’t great. The temperature was in the 90s. The wind was 40-50 miles per hour. The elevation is around 7,000 feet.

“It was a wonderful experience,” said Tsethlikai, a Journeyman Lineman at Trico for 16 years. “It was a lot of work, but it was rewarding. After meeting the people and seeing what a life-changing experience it is for them, it was all worth it. It was an eye opener for me. My family on the (Zuni) reservation has electricity and water. It was sad, but I was happy to be there. I don’t look at it as charity. It’s the right thing to do.”

It was a great learning experience for Hornung and Garcia, who are apprentice linemen. All four men said they wished they could have done more. During their week in Chinle, they installed four meters. There was also a crew from Alabama working in another part of town.

“I hope more utilities continue to help,” said English, who has been a Journeyman Lineman at Trico for eight years. “It was a good experience. I wish we could have done more. Maybe next year we can stay longer.”

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