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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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POWER Grants Make a Difference in the Community


How POWER Grants Impact Community

December 9, 2022

At Trico, we believe that connection powers our purpose. This connection brings us together as a community – with the understanding that we can do more together than we could do by ourselves.

One way we support our Members and the communities we serve is through The Trico Electric Charitable Trust (Trust). Since 1996, the Trust has donated over $900,000 to local community organizations, schools, veteran’s groups, first responders, and food banks.

In 2022, the Trust awarded $70,000 in POWER Grants to non-profits providing critical services in southern Arizona. Those grants would not be possible without contributions from our Members who participate in Operation Round Up (ORU), so we thank those Members who choose to “round up” their monthly bill payment to the next dollar.

The Arivaca Human Resource Group, which provides daily meals and emergency food boxes to clients within the community, received a $5,200 POWER Grant in the spring. The organization wanted to purchase a small walk-in refrigeration unit along with shelving from the Sahuarita Food Bank but could not afford it. With help from our lender CoBank, which matched Trico’s grant, they were able to purchase the refrigeration and freezer unit.

“This is something we have desperately needed in order to store food we use for the daily meals we serve and for the emergency food boxes we provide for our community members in need,” President Rick Vogel said.

See the graphic at right for more ways the Trust is helping the communities that Trico serves.

Why contribute to Operation Round Up?

For less than $1 per month, you can make a difference in the community. ORU is an easy way to give back to your community because all donations stay local. The most you will donate is about $12 a year, and your donations are tax deductible.

Sign up by December 31, 2022 for a chance to win a $100 bill credit. Visit www.trico.coop/operation-round-up or call us at 520‑744‑2944.


How POWER Grants are making a difference in our community:

ARIZONA BURN FOUNDATION

The Arizona Burn Foundation, which received a $7,400 POWER Grant, partners with local fire departments to install free smoke alarms in low-income and high-risk areas across Arizona to keep communities safe. “Your kindness means so much to parents, caregivers, burn survivors and children in the burn community.” —Catherine Sebesta.

YOUTH ON THEIR OWN

The YOTO Program received $2,500 to provide basic needs, financial assistance, guidance, and support services to Tucson/Pima County’s students experiencing homelessness with the goal of high school graduation. “Every day I meet kids whose lives are better because of the generosity of organizations like yours. They have a fighting chance to finish high school and plan for the future because you showed them that you believe they can succeed.” – Fred Rodriguez, Youth On Their Own

SISTER JOSE WOMEN’S CENTER

The organization received $5,000 to provide a cooling center for women experiencing homelessness during the extreme heat. “Your donation will have a transformative impact on the lives of the women we serve. Contributions like yours, make an immeasurable difference and open up a path to a sustainable existence for our guests. Thank you for taking on this vital and rewarding work with us.” – Jean Fedigan, Sister Jose Women’s Center

FRIENDS IN DEED

The Green Valley nonprofit received a $2,500 grant to provide transportation to senior citizens going to medical appointments. “Since Friends In Deed operates entirely on donations, we are very appreciative of your generosity. These funds will be helpful in assisting with operations of our Transportation Program, which provides rides to Green Valley seniors to medical appointments, including the expenses of operating our wheelchair vans for those who require a wheelchair trip. Thank you for your generosity.” —Jan Morgan, Operations Manager at Friends In Deed.

ARIVACA HELPING HEARTS

The organization received an $8,500 POWER Grant and used the funds to repair a swing bridge, install a fence around the playground and to purchase physical education equipment at San Fernando Elementary School in Sasabe. “This makes their playground equipment usable again. It’s nice to know the students at San Fernando are safe on the playground.” —Michelle Davis, Grant Coordinator

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CEO Column: Imagine Trico in 2030


CEO Column: Imagine Trico in 2030

December 7, 2022

CEO COLUMN:

I believe Trico is at an important stage in our growth and development, as changes in the industry, advances in technology, and changes in our Members’ needs shape the work we do today and in the future.

When I imagine the future of Trico, here is a what I envision:

I see a fully automated power delivery network that monitors and ensures a two-way flow of electricity and information between Trico, our generation sources and the end use appliance/equipment.

I see this system having distributed intelligence, coupled with broadband communications and automated control systems, enabling real time market transactions (prices/rates) and seamless interfaces among people, buildings, businesses, generation sources and our network. Our systems will sense, communicate, and operate bi-directionally.

I see faster detection of outages, automatic responses to them in some cases, and rapid restoration will improve the reliability and security of the grid.

I see more electricity use by our Members as they decarbonize their homes, businesses, farms, ranches, and transportation modes, choosing electricity over gas, propane, gasoline and diesel. Regarding vehicles, I see most of the Trico fleet being electric by 2030.

I see that while we are connected to regional transmission networks, and ultimately to the national backbone, more power from distributed energy systems (co-op and member-owned) flows to and from other Members first, and then to the regional network, depending on supply and demand conditions.

I see Trico’s Members having the ability to customize their electricity supply to suit their individual needs for power in terms of cost, environmental impacts, levels of reliability and power quality. This includes having long since moved away from a one-sized fits all business model to one where we are offering different levels of renewables, types of renewables, location of renewables, so that we can tailor services to individual Members.

In 2030, who better than our Member’s trusted local co-op to meet their needs and wants, just like we have been doing since 1945.

Ultimately, I see Trico enabling a more prosperous, healthier, and secure quality of life. This gets back to our mission – to make a difference in the communities we serve by providing our Members cost-effective and sustainable energy solutions.

As we reach the end of 2022, all of us at Trico would like to thank our Members. We are privileged to serve our community and look forward to a bright future together.

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Trico Donates Money to Veteran Creative Arts Competition


Trico Donates to American Legion for Veterans Creative Arts Competition

November 11, 2022

Nationwide, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities use the creative arts as one form of rehabilitative treatment to help Veterans recover from and cope with physical and emotional disabilities.

Each year, Veterans compete in a local creative arts competition. The competition includes categories in the visual arts division that range from oil painting to leatherwork to photography. In addition, there are categories in writing as well as the performing arts of dance, drama and music.

Trico donated $1,300 to the Casas Adobes American Legion Auxiliary Unit #73 to buy supplies for a local creative arts competition held on September 16.

“We want to thank Trico for the wonderful gift to our Veterans,” said Karen Borth, Casas Adobes American Legion Auxiliary Unit #73 secretary.

Local creative arts competition first place winning entries advance to a national judging process and first, second and third place entries in each category are determined. Selected gold-medal-winning Veterans are invited to attend the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival hosted by a different VA facility each year.

The 42nd National Veterans Creative Arts Festival will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, April 10-17, 2023. The festival culminates with a stage performance, writing exhibition and gallery-style showcase of artwork.



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Power Cost Adjustor Increase Beginning October 2022


Power Cost Adjustor Increase Beginning October 2022

October 10, 2022

Over the last year we have all seen the effect of inflation on food, consumer products, and gasoline. There have also been increases in the cost of natural gas and even coal, during that same time-period. In addition to our growing renewable generation resources, Trico purchases power that is fueled by coal and natural gas. These increased fuel costs have increased the price of power needed to serve Trico’s Members’ load.

Built into Trico’s rates is a Wholesale Power Cost Adjustor (PCA), which allows for increases or decreases in power costs to be “flowed” into Trico’s rates.  When power prices are low, Trico can offer a credit to its Members. When power prices rise, sometimes it becomes necessary to add a charge.  Since 2017, low fuel prices have allowed Trico to approve almost $22 million in credits to be returned to its Members through the PCA.

As a result of the increased fuel costs experienced throughout the industry, Trico is now instituting a charge. Each month the Management and Board will review fuel cost projections, consider the impacts on Trico’s finances, and determine how to best adjust the PCA. 

As a non-profit cooperative, our mission is providing cost-effective energy solutions, and with that in mind Trico has identified three principles to guide this process:

  1. Minimize cost impacts on Members​
  2. Avoid large PCA variations month-to-month​
  3. Treat residential and commercial Members equitably​

We also continue to take active steps to minimize fuel costs and keep prices low. For example, we “hedge” (purchase gas ahead of time at predictable prices) our natural gas purchases to control the cost and risk, and we sell excess power to produce revenue that reduces the amount we charge our Members.

We do expect that a PCA charge will be necessary for the remainder of 2022 and into 2023, but this will be reexamined each month with the above principles in mind. You can see the PCA on your monthly bill under the sections titled “Current Service Detail.” If you have questions, please contact us.

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Four Ways to Slay Energy Vampires


Four Ways to Slay Energy Vampires

October 8, 2022

Halloween is just around the corner. There could be a hidden terror lurking in your home. We’re talking about energy vampires — evil ghouls that suck electrical power from your appliances when you aren’t using them, taking a big bite out of your wallet.

Slay energy vampires with these four simple strategies:

1. Unplug devices

Unplug devices or appliances you don’t use often and those that are easy to reach as you’re heading out the door. Mobile phone chargers that are left plugged in after your phone is disconnected still consume energy. If you start factoring in all the other appliances and electronics that are plugged in and not in use, it’s easy to see why these energy vampires could add an extra 10 percent to your monthly utility bill.

2. Use power strips

Power strips let you toggle the power flow on and off. This means you can control the power usage of clusters of devices so that they’re not consuming electricity when you’re not at home. Using a light switch that turns power outlets on and off, if you have one, accomplishes the same end with even less effort.

An advanced power strip makes it even easier by turning off idle electronics without any additional steps from you.

One of the easiest places to use a power strip is your entertainment center. Older set-top cable boxes and DVRs in your living room are some of the most frightening energy vampires, as they’re less efficient than newer models. Some of these devices are constantly draining 25-45 watts of energy when off.

3. Curb idle time

Set your computer to sleep mode or power it down when you’re not using it. Do the same with your video game console instead of leaving it paused for a prolonged period of time.

4. Make smart upgrades

When it comes time to send your old electronics and appliances to the graveyard, consider replacing them with ENERGY STAR devices. They have a lower standby consumption than your average device and use less energy all around.

Energy vampires throughout your home could add an extra 10 percent to your monthly electricity bill.  Take a few minutes to find them and banish them for good!

Visit EnergySaver.gov for more tricks to save energy and money.


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CEO Column: We’re Celebrating You!


CEO Column: We’re Celebrating You!

By Brian Heithoff, Trico CEO and GM

This month, we’re celebrating YOU

October is National Co-op Month, a time when we celebrate you – our Members.

Our core business purpose is to serve as your energy provider, but the larger mission of the co-op is to make a difference in the communities we serve by providing our Members cost-effective and sustainable energy solutions.

All cooperatives adhere to the same set of seven principles that reflect our core values of service, dependability, innovation and integrity. The Cooperative Principles are essential to the co-op business model and benefit all Members of the co-op.

“Concern for community” is one of seven guiding principles that all co-ops share. Because we’re local, we understand our community’s unique needs and strive to help meet them.

We’re proud to support local youth through our Washington Youth Tour and scholarship programs. We support charitable organizations through our POWER Grants program, which provides grants to community organizations, schools, veteran’s groups, first responders, and food banks.  

The word “cooperative” is close to “cooperation,” meaning people working together towards a common goal—mutually benefitting one another and the larger community. That’s the essence of the cooperative spirit.

Above all, as a co-op we put our Members’ priorities first. As your trusted energy partner, we know that saving energy and money is important to you. That’s why we offer energy efficiency programs, such as our Tree Program and Energy Saving Workshops.

For Trico, a commitment to providing our Members with renewable energy alternatives is critical. Our website is a great resource if you’re interested in solar or electric vehicles. You can also call us if you have any questions about renewable energy.

We want to empower you to manage energy use at home. Through our SmartHub app, you can conveniently monitor and manage your energy use.

Trico is continuously examining ways to operate more efficiently while continuing to provide the highest level of friendly, reliable service you expect and deserve. After all, we’re your local co-op. We were built by the Members we serve.

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Trico Member Finds a Piece of Our History


Trico Member Finds a Piece of Our History

October 8, 2022

Trico Member Lisa Trott was cleaning out her garage and found a stake and a sign that says it was the first stake driven by Trico for a power pole in section 36 on January 23, 1948. The stake is signed by five men, including Trico employee Harold Roberts, who was Lisa’s uncle.

Harold started as a Staking Engineer at Trico in 1947, just two years after Trico was incorporated. He first helped take the power lines into Pinal County covering 115 miles and serving 77 Members. The first lines were then energized on July 8, 1948.

In 1950, Harold began working with a small crew on providing power to Mt. Lemmon. It took them two years to finish staking the path up the mountain due to the winter season.

“Of all the things that happened in my years with Trico, building that Mt. Lemmon line was the most memorable thing. It was a test of endurance and of the will to persevere. Anyone looking up those slopes from the valley has to realize what a super-human feat it was,” explained Harold.

By 1953, Harold, along with a crew, had taken power lines from Marana, up to the Pinal County line, and over, up the mountain, down Avra Valley, to Sells and Sasabe.

Harold retired from Trico in 1977 after close to 30 years of service. Nearly every line on Trico’s system at that time was staked by Harold and his crews.

Today, Trico’s service territory encompasses 2,346 square miles with 3,999 miles of energized line and over 46,000 Members.

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Trico Linemen Help Motorist


Trico Linemen Help Motorist

August 26, 2022

Trico is dedicated to making a difference in the communities we serve. Trico journeyman lineman Bryan English and apprentice Anthony Anaya exemplified the cooperative’s concern for community when they stopped to help a woman change a flat tire while driving down Avra Valley Road.

They parked behind her and put out cones, and then came over to help her.

“They told me to put my tools down and that they would handle it for me,” Lillee Soriano posted on the Avra Valley Community Facebook page. “They got the car up and lug nuts off, but my rim was stuck on the rotor. Luckily, they had a pry bar and were able to get it off. They put the donut on. I thanked them multiple times for taking the time out of their day to help me. It almost brought me to tears. I have never experienced something like that in my life. Just pure kindness.”

Caption: Trico apprentice lineman Anthony Anaya changes a flat tire for a member of the community.

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Local Students Experience Trip of a Lifetime


Local Students Experience Trip of a Lifetime

August 26, 2022

Every June, Trico and electric cooperatives across the country send local high school students to spend a week in the nation’s capital as part of the Washington Youth Tour (WYT).

Throughout their week, students meet with elected officials, explore museums, visit historical monuments, and develop friendships that last a lifetime! Highlights of the trip include a tour of the Capital Building, meeting with Congresswoman Debbie Lesko, Mount Vernon, a Washington Nationals baseball game, the Marine Corps Museum, the White House, and a riverboat ride.

“I had such a fun time, thank you so much for this opportunity,” said Rachel Weisbrod, who attends Tucson High School. “My favorite experiences were the boat ride and the Nationals game.”

WYT ignites a passion within students to look at the world with a fresh perspective and create change in their communities. Participating in WYT is an awesome way to learn about our great nation, develop leadership skills, gain a better understanding of electric cooperatives, and make friendships that will last beyond the week.

Trico is accepting applications for the 2023 WYT. High school juniors who are the dependent child of a Trico Member are eligible to apply. The deadline to apply is November 1, 2022.

Learn more at www.trico.coop/washington-youth-tour/.


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Interns Gain Valuable Experience Over the Summer


Trico is Committed to Sustainable Energy

August 26, 2022

Here at Trico, we are proud to offer summer internships that provide quality, practical work experience to college students.

Through this program we’ve seen previous interns become full-time staff at Trico. Our interns are an essential part of bringing Trico’s mission to life, and we are excited to see what they will accomplish in their future careers.

For interns Mark Smalling, Rylee Schull and Austin Cathers, the past few summers have been a great learning experience.

Mark assisted the Designers with field staking and Engineering in documenting and sending out as-built drawings. He also learned the internal workings, purpose and operation of single phase reclosers from Journeyman Substation Technician Bill Roethle. Bill said he enjoyed working with Mark, and said Mark is a great student and learns fast. Mark is currently a student at Pima Community College working towards his associate’s degree in Science.

“Working for Trico has helped me see that I have an interest in power engineering and I intend to transfer to ASU to study that,” Mark said. “I’ve really enjoyed coming in here every day over the summer. It’s given me the time to learn from my fellow employees and it’s a good opportunity to give back to the community.”

Rylee is a senior at Grand Canyon University majoring in Marketing and Advertising. She has been a valuable asset to Marketing and Communications, helping with social media and other marketing projects, including writing and gathering content for the Livewire newsletter and checking different websites to make sure their information about Trico is up to date. She also created a brochure and fact sheet about Trico for employees and Members.

“I have learned so much in the past four years and it has been such a great experience for me,” Rylee said. “The experience that I’ve gained here at Trico has been exceptional and I’ve worked with exceptional people who have taught me so much about how to have a job and life, how to do marketing and communications. It’s been a wonderful time.”

Austin is attending the University of Arizona majoring in Computer Science. He said he has enjoyed working in IT.

Information Systems Supervisor Robert Duke said Austin “has been a valuable member of the IT team and while we’re excited for him to continue his education we will miss his contributions until he returns.” Austin worked on computer updates, started new computer builds, and assisted IT in their software, hardware and network troubleshooting.


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