Electricity powers our lives. We depend on it for nearly everything we do. So we understand how frustrating it can be when you’re left in the dark.
Power outages are never convenient. It takes a lot of hands to keep your power on, and even more hands to get it up and running when an outage occurs. Trico works hard to restore your electric service when outages occur, but there are necessary steps to take to ensure that power is restored to the majority of Members as quickly, and safely, as possible.
Summer is here and with it come monsoon and other weather-related outages. After a major storm, line crews must identify which poles and lines have incurred damage. High voltage transmission stations feed power to Trico’s distribution substations. These substations serve thousands of Members. If there is no damage done to transmission towers, the local distribution substations are checked first. If the issue is isolated and can be resolved at the substation level, that’s good, it means thousands of our Members can get their power restored at once.
At times, the issue cannot be isolated to one of our distribution substations. If that is the case, crews inspect supply lines between the substations and the meters they serve. If the supply lines can be repaired, power can be restored to the towns and homes those lines serve, as long as there is no damage to the tap lines.
Tap lines carry power to the transformers located underground or connected to poles outside of homes and other buildings. Line crews identify which damaged lines to work on first based on which lines will restore power to the greatest number of Members.
Many times, the issue is resolved once the tap lines are repaired. But have you ever lost power only to look next door and see the lights still blazing from your neighbor’s window? When this happens, it generally means that the service line between your home and the nearby transformer has been damaged. If this happens, call Trico right away so we can send a line crew to your home.
If you lose service in your home or neighborhood, please remember the following:
- Stay clear of downed power lines. Contact with these lines could be life threatening.
- Report the outage to Trico as soon as possible by calling 744-2944.
- Make sure to inform us if loss of power to your home affects life support systems or could cause any additional threat to health and safety.
- To get outage updates on your phone or email account, sign up for outage notifications here.
We appreciate your patience and cooperation whenever an outage occurs. For more information on outages, check the Outage Map.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CAR CRASHES INTO A UTILITY POLE
Accidents happen. Do you know what to do if your car crashed into an electric utility pole? Knowing what to do could be the difference between life and death.
Always consider power lines and other electrical equipment to be live and dangerous. If a power line falls on your vehicle and there is no fire:
Your safest option is to stay inside your vehicle until help arrives. The vehicle acts as a path for the electrical current to travel to reach the ground. You are safe inside the vehicle, but if you get out, you could be electrocuted.
Call 911 or Trico for help.
If a power line falls on your vehicle and there is a fire:
Jump out of the vehicle, making sure NO part of your body or clothing touches the ground and vehicle at the same time.
Land with both feet together and in small, shuffling steps, move at least 40 feet away from the vehicle.
The ground could be energized. Shuffling away with both feet together decreases the risk of electrical shock.
POWER GRANTS MAKE IMPACT IN THE COMMUNITY
Trico is committed to improving the quality of life in the communities we serve. Since 2008, Trico has awarded $480,000 in POWER Grants to local non-profit organizations in Southern Arizona. Past donations have helped food banks, fire departments, schools, youth groups, veteran’s groups and more.
In May, ten organizations received $40,000 (see chart at right). Another $40,000 will be awarded in the fall. Last year, 28 organizations received $80,000 in POWER Grants. Here are a few examples of how Trico’s POWER Grants are helping the community.
Marana Unified School District was awarded $10,000 for its Power Pack program, which provides nutritious and healthy snacks for students to eat over the weekend. Studies have shown that students in the program are sick less often, have fewer stomach aches, and are more eager and ready to learn. Student learning and attendance also improves drastically. The Power Pack program serves 140 students at four elementary schools within the Trico service area – Estes, Picture Rocks, Gladden Farms and Roadrunner.
“Our students and their families are very appreciative of the Power Packs they receive, and this is made possible largely through the Power Grant,” said Cynthia Ruich, Director of Student Services. “Thank you for your continued support!”
The Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona received $2,000 for their summer camp on Mt. Lemmon. Girl Scout camp provides girls with the opportunity to connect with nature, participate in educational environmental and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programming, and develop practical life skills. Twenty-one girls in Trico’s service area were able to attend camp.
“Your support of our resident camp scholarship fund has leveled the playing field for underserved girls by providing the means for them to go to camp,” said Debbie Rich, Chief Executive Officer. “You are giving an incredible gift of lifelong memories and formative experiences to future leaders, as well as their caregivers, and for this, we cannot thank you enough.”
Mt. Lemmon Fire used its $1,500 POWER Grant to bring the district into compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements.
“Thank you again for the opportunity to become better at serving our community and for the opportunity to operate more safely,” said Mike Cuestas, Mount Lemmon Fire Captain. “We are now compliant with mandated air testing and air fill procedures.”
With your help, we can continue to support the community. POWER Grants are funded by the Trico Electric Charitable Trust, which receives donations from Members who choose to round up their bill to the nearest dollar. Click here to contribute to Operation Round-up.
CO-OP CARD OFFERS DISCOUNT ON ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE
The Co-op Connections Card has a new benefit: towing and roadside assistance. Nation Safe Drivers (NSD) is offering cardholders emergency road service and a tow up to 15 miles for a flat fee of $79.99.
NSD is a premier provider of 24-Hour Towing & Roadside Assistance for over 50 years. With access to over 45,000 towing providers nationwide, including the U.S. and Canada, you can travel with confidence wherever the road may take you. Members can reach NSD 24/7 by calling (877) 811-6002 or on the toolbar of the Co-op Connections smartphone app.
WHAT IS COVERED BY EMERGENCY ROAD SERVICE?
Tire Service: Changing an inflated spare from mount to wheel.
Battery Service: Attempting to start vehicle with a booster battery.
Delivery Service: Delivery of 2 gallons of fuel.
Towing Service: Guaranteed 15 miles of towing at no additional cost. Additional mileage is available at $5.00 per mile.
Lockout: We will dispatch a service vehicle to unlock your vehicles passenger compartment only.
TIPS FOR SPOTTING POTENTIAL ELECTRICAL HAZARDS IN YOUR HOME
May is National Electrical Safety Month, and here at Trico, we think it’s a great time to look around your home and check for potential safety hazards.
Power strips with surge protectors can help safeguard expensive equipment like televisions, home entertainment systems and computer components from power spikes. Voltage spikes are measured in joules, and surge protectors are rated for the number of joules they can effectively absorb. That means if your surge protector is rated at 1,000 joules, it should be replaced when it hits or passes that limit. When the limit is reached, protection stops, and you’re left with a basic power strip.
Some surge protectors include indicator lights that flicker to warn you when they’ve stopped working as designed, but many do not. If your electrical system takes a major hit, or if you don’t remember when you bought your surge protector, replacement may be the best option.
If you use extension cords regularly to connect devices and equipment to your wall outlets, you may live in an underwired home. With a growing number of electrical devices, having enough outlets in just the right spots can be challenging. Remember, extension cords are designed for temporary, occasional or periodic use.
If an extension cord gets noticeably warm when in use, it could be undersized for the intended use. If it shows any signs of frayed, cracked or heat-damaged insulation, it should be replaced. If the grounding prong is missing, crimped or loose, a grounded cord will not provide the protection designed into its performance. And always make sure that extension cords used in outdoor or potentially damp locations are rated for exterior use.
LOOSE OR DAMAGED OUTLETS OR SWITCHES
Unstable electrical outlets or wall switches with signs of heat damage or discoloration can offer early warnings of potential shock or electrical fire hazards. Loose connections can allow electrical current arcing. If you see these warning signs, it may be time to contact an electrician.
GROUND FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTERS
Outdoor outlets or those in potentially damp locations in a kitchen, bathroom or laundry room often include GFCI features. They are designed to sense abnormal current flows, breaking the circuit to prevent potential electric shocks from devices plugged into the outlets.
The average GFCI outlet is designed to last about 10 years, but in areas prone to electrical storms or power surges, they can wear out in five years or less. Check them frequently by pressing the red test button. Make sure you hit the black reset button when you are done. Contact a licensed electrician to replace any failing GFCI outlets.
WHY ARE WE REBRANDING?
By Vin Nitido, Trico CEO and GM
At our Annual Meeting, we introduced a new brand to our Members. What prompted this change? We recognized that we are at an important stage in our growth and development. In late 2017, we took the first step to reposition ourselves for the future with the goal of developing a strategic and well-defined brand and communications plan.
Branding is not just a logo or a tagline. It is the promise that we make to our Members and our community. It’s not about how we see ourselves, but how we are perceived by others.
We care about people, not just profits. As a non-profit cooperative, we don’t treat profits like other utility companies. Our purpose is to serve our Members and community. Working together for the common good is what makes us different.
Throughout 2018, we looked at feedback and data from surveys and research that staff and Members had participated in over the years to come up with these guiding principles:
Members first. Our Members are also owners, so we work hard to follow through on what we say, be upfront and honest and earn their trust every day.
Safety is at our core. Without prioritizing the safety of our staff, workers, Members and communities, our other measures of quality and service would not matter. Safety is where we start in providing the reliability, responsiveness and service that our Members value.
Reliability is our responsibility. We are dedicated to providing reliable energy and service where and when you need us. We are proud of our record of minimal outages and superior response to Member needs.
Together we power the future. That’s what a community is: working together and doing our best for each other. You can’t have a co-op without cooperation, and we are dedicated to investing in the quality of life in our communities, today and into the future.
To be effective, the tagline must help to build the Trico brand by expressing the brand’s strengths and attributes through an active, instantly understandable and unique phrase.
A successful logo should communicate your brand attributes by using a combination of graphic elements. Based on our evaluation, we developed a new identity that more clearly reflects Trico’s strengths and moves us into the future.
An Energy Cooperative (no longer just an electric cooperative) better reflects Trico’s forward-thinking mindset and the numerous energy sources Trico is using and pursuing. The word electric is limiting. Energy is limitless.
See the diagram above for an explanation of the new logo.
TRICO LENDS A HELPING HAND TO THE COMMUNITY
From donating a truck to the Three Points Fire District to fixing a flag pole at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Marana, Trico believes in helping the communities we serve.
Bradley Bendixen said the cemetery is “blessed to have great community support. Trico was there when we needed them and provided a service, which helps us to honor our veterans in a proper fashion.”
Three Points Fire District Captain/Wildland Coordinator Chris Ader also expressed gratitude to Trico for donating a used truck.
“After some work, it has turned out to be a great emergency response vehicle,” he said. “Thank you so much for the donation.”
Twice a year, Trico awards $40,000 to non-profit organizations providing critical services in southern Arizona. Individual grants up to $10,000 are awarded in May and December of each year.
In March, tax-exempt organizations that provide the following services are eligible to apply for a POWER Grant:
- Food and Basic Needs
- Fire and Emergency Response
Click here to apply. The deadline to apply is April 1.
In October, Trico will be accepting applications from organizations that provide the following services:
- Prevention and Support
- Arts and Literacy
Organizations do not have to be located in Trico’s service area to be eligible; however, the organization must demonstrate funding will assist a significant amount of Trico Members and/or the Trico service area communities.
Since 2008, Trico’s POWER Grants program has provided more than $400,000 in funding to local non-profit organizations in our community.
(520) 744-2944, ext. 1362