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CEO Column: Fire Mitigation 2024

Trico secures $700,000 grant for fire mitigation and grid resilience

July 1, 2024

Trico has received a significant boost in its effort to enhance fire mitigation and grid resilience on Mt. Lemmon, thanks to a recent $700,000 grant awarded by a federal infrastructure funding program. The grant, part of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Grid Resilience Innovation Partnership (GRIP) program, will support Trico’s initiatives aimed at bolstering the region’s wildfire prevention measures and ensuring the reliability of its power grid infrastructure.

The award comes as part of a larger consortium bid led by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and involves 39 electric co-ops from across the country. There were about 700 applicants for GRIP funding and less than 10% of projects were selected. The consortium’s projects will accelerate the completion of high-priority wildfire mitigation projects at co-ops nationwide, with Trico being among the beneficiaries.

Trico has identified the Mt. Lemmon area as a high-hazard zone for wildfires, with three significant fires occurring in the last 20 years alone. The devastating impact of the Bighorn Fire in 2020, caused by a lightning strike, prompted Trico to take proactive measures to mitigate future wildfire risks in the region.

Trico will allocate the grant funds towards fire mitigation work, right-of-way clearing, and the installation of fire-resistant wrapping on power poles across Mt. Lemmon. These efforts, combined with continued vegetation management and maintenance, aim to reduce the likelihood of wildfire ignition and mitigate the risk of damage from all wildfires.

Moreover, the enhanced resilience of Trico’s power grid infrastructure will ensure reliability service to key communications assets, including radio, television, and communications towers, that serve Tucson and Southern Arizona. The project’s scope also extends to protecting the Members, homes, and businesses served by Trico, as well as preserving the valuable natural environment on Mt. Lemmon.

This ongoing effort underscores Trico’s commitment to balancing the preservation of the natural environment with ensuring reliable electricity supply to its Members. Trico’s engagement with the community underscores its dedication to fostering a culture of preparedness and collaboration. Trico recently hosted a Summer Preparedness Town Hall on June 15, 2024, at the Mt. Lemmon Community Center. The event provided an opportunity for community members to discuss fire risk mitigation strategies and receive updates on Trico’s initiatives to enhance wildfire resilience in the region.

The GRIP grant will benefit Mt. Lemmon and it is also an example of how Trico works hard to find innovative ways to contain costs (grants, low-interest loans, forgivable loans, etc.). These savings provide benefits to all Members. Trico is committed to ensuring the reliability of power supply while safeguarding our community and, as always, we are dedicated to serving you, our Members.

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Outage Restoration Process

What really happens when the lights go out

July 1, 2024

Ever wondered how power gets restored after an outage? Let’s take a closer look at what happens behind the scenes:

  1. Teamwork: From frontline representatives to field operatives, everyone works together to get the power restored as quickly and safely as possible.
  2. Assessment: Each time the power goes out, crews take a good look to see what’s broken and figure out the best way to fix it.
  3. Safety First: Safety is always the top priority. Crews make sure to watch out for anything that could cause harm.
  4. Understanding Flickering Lights: Flickering lights indicate that our equipment is working to prevent bigger problems.
  5. Being Prepared: If you rely on power for life support purposes, you must have a backup plan in case the power stays out longer than expected. We encourage Members to complete our Life-Sustaining Equipment Form, which is available on our website at
  6. Working Together: Our portion of the power grid is connected to other electric utilities, so we maintain positive relationships with other power providers to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.

Restoring power is a group effort aimed at your safety and keeping your electricity running smoothly. We’re dedicated to doing our best for you. So, when the lights go out, rest assured we’re diligently working to restore your power and provide you with uninterrupted service.

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Trico Employee Helps Save a Life

Trico employee, who is a volunteer Firefighter and EMT, helps save a life

July 1, 2024

Trico Senior Distribution Designer Deidra Tulk is a volunteer Firefighter and EMT with the Benson Fire Department and also works part time for Healthcare Innovations, the ambulance company that serves the Benson area.

On February 2, 2024, Deidra and four other first responders received a call for medical assistance at the local Walmart. As they arrived, the patient went into cardiac arrest, and they immediately began CPR. They continued CPR while the patient was transported to Benson Hospital, where the patient regained a pulse and was stabilized until they could be transported to a Tucson hospital. Within 36 hours the patient was sitting in their room in the ICU talking with their doctors, and then discharged within a few days.

On May 13, 2024, the Benson City Council recognized the five first responders for their efforts and presented them with CPR Life Saver awards.

“It feels a little bit weird to be recognized for doing a job I signed up for, but it’s been humbling how many people show their appreciation, especially as a volunteer,” Deidra said.

Caption: Deidra Tulk and four other first responders were presented with CPR Life Saver awards from the Benson City Council.

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Summer Energy Saving Tips 2024

Stay cool this summer while saving energy and money

July 1, 2024

Have you noticed that your air conditioner seems to be working harder? Though we don’t suffer the high humidity of the southeastern states, anything above 32% can certainly affect our comfort level.

Here are some tips to help you beat the heat:

  • Use ceiling fans or oscillating fans. They help evaporate moisture from your skin, making you feel cooler. In the summer, operate ceiling fans in a counterclockwise direction. You should turn fans off in rooms that are not in use.
  • In addition to raising your thermostat to 78 degrees, make sure your air conditioner is well maintained and functioning efficiently. That means replacing filters on schedule.
  • Take shorter showers to save on water heating costs. Even if your water is heated by gas, that’s still a good idea.
  • Run large appliances such as the washer, dryer and dishwasher after 8 p.m. or early in the morning. Running these appliances at cooler hours saves the air conditioner from working as hard.
  • Here’s an easy way to lighten the load on your clothes dryer. Before you dry a load of damp clothing, toss in a clean, dry towel. The towel will absorb excess water, shortening the drying time. If your dryer does not include an autosense feature to determine drying time, remember to reduce the timer to about half of what you normally would. Remove the towel about 15 minutes after the cycle begins.
  • Plant shade trees. You may not see immediate energy benefits, but in a few years, you’ll be glad you did. You can get trees from Trico through our Operation Cool Shade program. Each year you can purchase up to three 5-gallon shade trees from Trico for $15 each. Five-gallon trees are not very big but give them a few years and they will provide shade. Trees for 2024 are sold out. Trees will be available again for purchase in January 2025.
  • Keep the window coverings closed during the day to block the sun’s heat.
  • Select energy-efficient products when you buy new cooling equipment. Your contractor should be able to give you energy fact sheets for different types, models, and designs to help you compare energy usage. See the efficiency standards for information on minimum ratings and look for the ENERGY STAR when purchasing new products.
  • Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.
  • Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use. Small appliances and electronics use energy even when not in use.
  • Smart plugs are inexpensive and offer convenient solutions for scheduling and controlling your favorite electronic devices. With smart plugs, you can easily manage your coffee maker, lighting, home office equipment, video game consoles and more. Smart plugs can help you manage devices through a smart phone app, your home assistant or voice control.

For more energy saving tips, visit

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CEO Column: We Take Managing Costs Seriously

We take managing costs seriously

June 10, 2024

You have probably heard in the news that some of the large, investor-owned utilities in the state have been increasing rates on a double-digit basis. As a non-profit cooperative, we are dedicated to providing cost-effective and sustainable energy services to our Members. We develop our rates to be affordable by focusing on recovering costs instead of making profits. We also work hard to control our costs for the benefit of our Members. This month I want to share some information on what goes into our rates and how we strive to control costs.

There are three primary categories of costs in our business: power supply, operating, and fixed. Power supply is the cost to generate power and the cost to transmit power to our system (transmission costs). Operating costs include billing, outage response, preventative maintenance of our system, legal costs, employee training, headquarters maintenance, property and casualty insurance, wages and benefits, director expenses, regulatory expenses, etc. Fixed costs include interest on long-term debt and depreciation of our assets.

Regarding operating costs, Trico has lower operating costs per kilowatt hour (kWh) today than we did 10 years ago. Trico has kept operating costs per kWh sold essentially flat for the last 10 years whereas across Arizona and the country, they have consistently risen. Our power costs per kWh sold have been essentially flat over the past 10 years and are lower than they were 15 years ago.

Additionally, since the mid-1980’s (almost 40 years ago) our rates have increased by about half a percent per year. In other words, our rates have gone up considerably less than the rate of inflation for the past 40 years, which means our Members are paying less today than they were in 1986 on an inflation adjusted basis.

We have accomplished this by always focusing on our Members and working to be efficient. Trico’s number of employees per Member ranks among the top 20% of U.S. electric cooperatives in terms of efficiency. We take pride in providing excellent service while controlling operating costs.

Like all companies, over the last several years, Trico has seen significant increases in the cost of materials, supplies, labor, fuel, power supply, and equipment. This is something we need to address as we want to maintain our financial strength and we don’t want to compromise the maintenance of our system. Reliable service is one of the ways we provide great value to our Members.

With this in mind, Trico is planning to file a rate proposal this year with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) that will likely result in a modest upward adjustment in rates and will go into effect in late 2025 or 2026. Our last rate proposal was filed in 2015 and was approved by the ACC in 2017, so it will be about eight years between new rates.

We are currently working on a Cost-of-Service Study (Study) that will determine what will be included in our rate proposal. This Study is designed to identify what we need to recover in rates to cover our costs and produce a margin needed for healthy operations. As we complete the Study, we will share what you can expect on your bill. Our approach to this process will be guided by our mission of providing cost-effective and sustainable energy solutions to you, our Members. As always, thank you for being a valued Member of Trico Electric Cooperative.

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Summer Monsoon Season Preparation

We’re ready for summer monsoon season

June 10, 2024

With the summer storm season approaching, Trico is implementing extra procedures to minimize the impact of power outages on our Members. 

To help support our Members during outages and times of excessive heat, Trico is implementing a Community Care Team made up of employees to distribute water, ice, and other necessary items. The Community Care Team will respond in situations where outages are projected to last more than a few hours and affect numerous Members.

We encourage Members to be prepared in the event of a power outage by following these storm safety tips:

  • If you experience a power outage, check our outage map at for the latest updates. Sign up for outage notifications.
  • High winds may bring power lines down. If you encounter downed lines while driving, turn around. Lines may still be energized. Never drive near or over them.
  • Heavy storms and rainfall have the potential to create flash floods. If you encounter standing water while driving, turn around and find a safer route.
  • Make sure your cellphone and portable power banks are charged and ready to go.
  • Stay informed by following us on social media at, and

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Trico Pioneers Electric Vehicle Charger Installation

Trico pioneers electric vehicle charger installations

June 10, 2024

Trico has started installing electric vehicle (EV) chargers in Members’ homes to support Members with EVs and help reduce energy usage during periods of high demand.

Among the early adopters is Clifford Rosario, whose embrace of EV technology underscores the practicality and convenience it offers. Rosario, a lifelong car enthusiast, became the first homeowner to have a Trico EV charger installed at his residence. His decision to enroll in the program stems from the seamless experience it promises, coupled with substantial cost savings in the long run.

“Convenience and affordability were key factors in my decision,” he said. “While EV chargers can often be a hefty investment, opting for installation through Trico not only eases the financial burden but also ensures hassle-free usage.”

For Rosario, whose daily routine includes commuting between Tucson and Phoenix, the appeal of electric vehicles initially lay in their impressive performance metrics. However, it wasn’t until he integrated an EV into his lifestyle that he realized its full potential.

“With my hectic schedule, the last thing I need is frequent trips to the gas station,” Rosario remarks. “The transition to electric driving has not only streamlined my daily commute but also alleviated concern about maintenance and emissions.”

Rosario’s sentiment reflects a growing trend among Trico Members gravitating towards EVs for their practicality and environmental benefits. With 99% of his yearly mileage now powered by electricity, he advocates for the widespread adoption of EV chargers to facilitate this transition for others.

“Installing an EV charger at home is a game-charger,” Rosario asserts. “It not only encourages eco-friendly practices but also simplifies the switch to electric vehicles for individuals on the fence.”

Trico’s experimental EV rates offer savings for Members with EVs and a way to control costs for all Members.

To learn more about Trico’s EV Unlimited Rate, visit

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Renewable Energy Boost Rate

Renewable Energy Boost Rate gives Members an affordable way to contribute to Trico’s energy goals

May 1, 2024

Sustainability is part of Trico’s mission. The Renewable Energy Boost Rate is designed to provide Trico Members with an inexpensive and flexible renewable energy option. Members on this rate benefit from a simple and transparent way to go green, without having to invest in home solar systems.N

Members on this rate pay an extra $0.01 per kWh to roundup from the amount of renewables on Trico’s system (35%) to cover 100% of your usage. Trico will purchase and retire Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from the West to account for the difference.

What’s a REC and how does it work?

A REC is a renewable energy certificate. Because the physical electricity we receive through the utility grid says nothing of its origin or how it was generated, RECs play an important role in accounting, tracking, and assigning ownership to renewable electricity generation and use. Trico will purchase RECs from the West, ensuring it is a legitimate REC that will be retired to you. Retiring the REC means that you, and only you, will be able to use that particular REC and it will not be sold again to another Member. As your local cooperative, Trico takes integrity seriously and is proud to ensure there is transparency and accountability in how we purchase and retire these RECs.

How much more will I spend per month on my energy usage?

The average Trico Member will spend an additional $4-$8 per month on their energy bill, depending on their individual usage each month and the time of year. Trico’s goal is to ensure Members can participate in this rate by providing an affordable and sustainable energy solution.

How do I know if this rate is right for me?

This rate offers an inexpensive option for Members who are willing to pay a little more each month for renewable energy. This rate might be right for you if:

  • You want to go green without having to purchase a home solar system.
  • You’re willing to pay a little extra each month to reduce carbon emissions.
  • You’re invested in supporting a sustainable future.

For more information, visit our website at

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CEO Column: A technological revolution is taking place

A technological revolution is taking place, and we need to adapt

May 1, 2024

There was a time when the bill from Trico was simply called “the light bill”. This is because lighting was the primary thing for which people needed electricity. But the behind-the-meter world underwent a technological revolution, and electricity became the lifeblood of homes, businesses, farms, and ranches.

A similar shift is occurring today. A technological revolution is creating new forms of energy generation, storage and other grid-enabling services that are changing the operation of the grid from a simple “generate-transmit-distribute” model into something more complex that, if properly leveraged, can deliver vast amounts of value to Members.

In most respects, energy has always been sold as a service. Members do not buy electrons as much as they buy lighting, heating, cooling and now charging services, that are provided by equipment that uses electricity. Electricity consumption in effect is the consumption of energy services.

The Trico electricity system on which our Members depend is changing, powered by technological innovations, increased use of distributed energy resources (DER), and changing Member needs and preferences in an increasingly connected world.

The increasing demand for system reliability and carbon reduction, coupled with the increasing capabilities of DERs, means new price signals are necessary. Rate designs need to follow suit to encourage the beneficial adoption of modern technologies, like electric vehicles and DER. In other words, rate design is a significant part of the changes needed to modernize our grid. Fred Butler, former President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, once said, “You can’t have a smart grid with dumb rates.”

While there are benefits to a straight-forward rate design for Members who want something simple, Trico believes that price structures should evolve towards time-varying prices (TVPs), which recognize that prices are higher when member demand on the system is higher.

Trico has invested in foundational technologies such as advanced metering infrastructure and meter data management systems, which make TVPs possible.

TVPs can take many forms but they work by pricing electricity higher at times when demand on the system is high, incentivizing Members to reduce their electricity use when it is most expensive to generate or when there are capacity constricts on the transmission or distribution system. This reduces stress on the power grid and lowers wholesale energy and capacity costs by reducing the need for inefficient and costly peaking plants. TVPs can allow engaged Members to capture benefits of managing their energy use, and by reducing demand they can produce savings for all Members.

We want to offer options to our Members and provide programs that serve our mission of cost‑effective and sustainable energy solutions. We can tailor rates that help Members and benefit the entire system, and we are committed to doing so. Thank you for being a valued Member.

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Thank you for attending our Annual Membership Meeting

Thank you for attending our Annual Membership Meeting

May 1, 2024

On behalf of the Trico Board of Directors and staff, we want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all our Members who attended our Annual Membership Meeting on April 6, 2024 at Casino del Sol Resort.

We had record attendance, with nearly 750 attendees. We also had a record number of Members voting for their Board of Directors online and at the meeting with 978 total votes. Directors Jerry Rutherford (District 1), David Proctor (District 2) and Joe King (District 5) were reelected for a three-year term.

We appreciate the Members who took the time to join us and learn more about how your local cooperative works for you. We hope you enjoyed the face painting, photo booth, free food, raffle prizes, cash bar, tree sales, informational booths, and more! Raffle prizes included a 2006 Chevy Silverado 1500 truck, an electric bicycle, a one-night stay at Casino del Sol Resort, a Kitchen Aid Mixer, a 42″ TV, an iPad, Beats headphones and Trico bill credits.

“This was the best meeting I have attended in years,” Trico Member Patricia Pesek posted on Facebook.

We enjoyed the opportunity to connect and share Trico’s successes and future with all of you. If you missed the meeting, you can watch the replay on Facebook at

Thank you for being a Trico Member, and we look forward to seeing you at next year’s Annual Membership Meeting.

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Trico Launches New EV Unlimited Rate

For some electric vehicle owners, our new EV Unlimited Rate could save you money

April 1, 2024

We are excited to announce our new Electric Vehicle (EV) Unlimited Rate. It is a simple, convenient option for Members who want to charge their EV at home.

This rate is designed to support the growing EV demand, and we recognize Trico Members with EVs have different needs. Members on this rate benefit from charging their EV in the convenience of their own home with the reliability and excellent service Trico provides.

Trico will install a level-two charger and offer unlimited charging at a flat monthly rate between the hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. See the chart at right.

This rate, along with our EV Time of Use Rate, is an example of Trico’s innovation to meet our Members’ needs in a way that benefits all Members.

To learn more, visit here.

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We Offer Flexible Payment Options

We Offer Flexible Payment Options

April 1, 2024

For your convenience, Trico has a number of ways that you can pay your bill. Budget Billing and Pay As You Go are two easy bill pay options that we provide.

Budget Billing

Want to know what your bill will be each month? Budget Billing is an optional Trico payment plan that allows you to pay for your electric use in equal monthly installments. We offer two options: Levelized Budget and Fixed Budget.

Variable Budget

With this option, the amount you owe is recalculated every month based on the last eleven (11) months’ kilowatt-hour usage plus the number of kilowatt-hours used in the current month. Though the Variable Budget option helps make your payments more even, the amount you pay is not the same every month.

Fixed Budget

With this option, your payment is the same every month. The amount is calculated once a year based on the last eleven (11) months’ kilowatt-hour usage plus the number of kilowatt-hours used in the current month. Every May the account is evaluated, and adjustments are made if necessary.

If you meet the requirements for our billing plans and would like to apply, fill out the form on our website. For questions, contact Member Services at 520-744-2944.

Pay As You Go

If you prefer to pay for electricity in advance, our Pay As You Go program is a good option for you. Pay As You Go is a self-managed program. You purchase electricity before you use it. Payments can be made when you want – online, over the phone, on the SmartHub app or in person at Trico’s office. When your account runs low, you will get an alert by email, text or phone call.

To learn more about these options, visit here

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