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10 Ways to Save on Your Next Energy Bill


10 Ways to Save on Your Next Energy Bill

August 26, 2022

Want to lower your home energy bills and be more environmentally friendly? Here are 10 simple ways to reduce energy waste, at home and at work:

1. Make the switch to LED. LEDs last at least 25 times longer and consume up to 90 percent less electricity than incandescent bulbs. By switching five of your home’s most frequently used bulbs with ENERGY STAR® certified LEDs, it’s possible to save $75 on energy costs annually.

2. Seal those leaks. On average, heating and cooling account for almost half of a home’s energy consumption. Take simple steps like caulking windows, sealing leaks and sliding draft guards under your doors to save up to 20% on heating costs.

3. Heat and cool efficiently. Don’t waste money heating or cooling an empty home. Install a programmable thermostat and in colder weather schedule your home’s heat to lower when you are away or asleep, and increase when you are returning home or waking-up. In warm weather, schedule the thermostat to raise the temperature when you are away or asleep, and lower it at other times.

4. Maintain your HVAC system. Make sure to clean or change your filters regularly. A dirty filter will slow down air flow, making the system work harder and costing you more money. Consider getting a tune-up.

5. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label. ENERGY STAR® windows can cut heating and cooling costs by as much as 30% compared to single-pane windows, while increasing indoor comfort and lessening fading of home furnishings.

6. Turn the electronics off. That sounds easy, but too often we forget and leave electronics plugged in that are not in use. A power strip can help turn off multiple items at once.

7.Winter tip: Invite the sun in. Open curtains/shades on your west-and south‑facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and save 2%–12%.

8. Summer tip: Close blinds and shades. Excess sunlight will make it harder to keep your home cool and comfortable. During the day, keep your blinds and shades closed to prevent warm air from building up in your home.

9. Clean your clothing efficiently. A washing machine spends 90% of its energy to heat water. Consider using cold water instead. In addition, try to run full loads as much as possible, because the machine uses roughly the same amount of energy regardless of the load size.

10. Clean up your dishes efficiently. Avoid the “rinse hold” cycle and skip heated drying – simply open the door at the end of the washing cycle and let the dishes air dry!

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CEO Column: Make Your Voice Heard By Voting


CEO Column: Make Your Voice Heard by Voting

August 26, 2022

In November, you will have the opportunity to vote in the mid-term elections for two open seats on the Arizona Corporations Commission (ACC). One of the jobs assigned to the ACC by Arizona’s constitution is to regulate the rates of utility public service corporations, like Trico.

While these races may not be top-of-mind for most Arizonans, they are vitally important to ensuring affordable rates, dependable service, and sustainable energy supply. I want to encourage all Members to take time to research this year’s candidates, understand the issues, and vote.

As a cooperative, our Members elect a local Board of Directors to govern the affairs of Trico. However, it is the ACC, and not the cooperative, that has the final authority over issues related to the rates Trico charges. In some cases, this can include decisions on the type of power generation that can be built, the programs we can offer, and Trico’s energy prices.

Trico is large for a cooperative, but we are much smaller than Arizona’s investor-owned utilities. There is, of course, a cost to complying with the rules and regulations established by the ACC, and with a smaller staff this can be a heavy burden. We are appreciative that the ACC has often recognized that our size, connection to our Members, and locally elected Board makes us different, and provided us with a certain amount of flexibility and latitude.

We are strong advocates for local control, and we encourage you to support candidates who appreciate and acknowledge the unique benefits of the cooperative business model, and that support practical, flexible solutions for the diverse communities that we serve.

Our industry is changing quickly, and we work hard to balance reliability, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness. An example is Trico’s active investment in renewable generation resources that can reduce emissions and produce savings. We have a goal to reduce our carbon emissions by 50% by 2032, and a plan to do so in a way that ensures reliability and affordability for our Members. That plan involves a balanced approach incorporating several types of generation resources, including needed dispatchable generation, to ensure the transition to renewables is efficient and timely, and also safe and reliable.

We take pride in our commitment to serve our Members, and the fact that our Members vote to elect our Board. Cooperatives across the country know that the democratic process works best when people do their research, understand the issues, and make their voice heard by voting. Please make a plan to vote in November, and as always thank you for being a Member of Trico.

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


Charitable Trust awards $35,000 in POWER grants to nine local non-profit organizations

August 4, 2022

The Trico Charitable Trust has awarded a total of $35,000 to nine 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 southern Arizona.  

Nonprofits are selected through an application process and reviewed by a seven-person committee made up of Trico employees, employee-members, and Board Members.

The following organizations received a grant in June 2022:

Since 2008, the POWER Grant program has awarded $735,000 in grants. The categories for spring were Food and Basic Needs, Housing, Health and Mental Care, and Fire and Emergency Response. In October, Trico will be accepting applications from organizations that provide the following services: Education, Substance Abuse Prevention and Support, Arts and Literacy, and Childcare and Development. 

The Charitable Trust is funded by Operation Round Up, which allows Trico Members to “round up” their monthly bill payment to the next dollar. The money contributed goes to a variety of worthy causes throughout our service area. Past donations include food banks, fire departments, schools, youth groups, veteran’s groups, and more. 

How Can You Contribute?

  • Round up your bill to the nearest dollar
  • Have a small amount added to your bill. It can even be just $1-2 dollars a month
  • Make an annual one-time contribution of any amount. All gifts are welcome

No matter which option you choose, your gift is tax deductible. If you wish to participate, call (520) 744-2944 or go to the Operation Round Up page here.

“Angel Heart Pajama is honored to partner with Trico to provide 300 children with a new pair of pajamas to call their very own. We deeply appreciate your $3,000 POWER grant award. Thank you so much!”

Joan Fawcett, Angel Heart Pajama Project

Angel Heart Pajama Project family wearing new pajamas.

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Power Outage: Steps to Take Before, During, and After


Power Outage: Steps to Take Before, During and After

August 4, 2022

Steps to take before, during and after an outage

Trico works year-round to provide dependable electric service. Summer monsoon storms often bring strong winds that cause unexpected damage. Trico is prepared to respond quickly when damage occurs, but outages are still possible.

Preparing ahead of time for these events will protect yourself and your loved ones. Here are some ideas to consider when making your plan:

  • Have extra batteries and a car charger for your mobile devices.
  • Keep a physical list of emergency, family and work contacts.
  • Know the location of flashlights and a radio. Ensure they are easy to access and that you have extra batteries.
  • Conserve your cell phone battery by reducing the screen brightness, placing it in airplane mode, and closing all unused apps.
  • Switch off all unnecessary lights and appliances to prevent overloaded circuits when power is restored.
  • Keep your car gas or electric tank half full. Gas and electric stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.
  • Have a supply of water in the house. FEMA recommends a three-day supply.

Sign up for Outage Notifications

You don’t have to feel powerless during a power outage. Sign up for Trico’s Outage Notifications through our SmartHub app or visiting the Outage page here. SmartHub users can report an outage through the app or by texting “OUT” to 855-937-1858.

Know your medical needs

  • Talk with your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines.
  • Know how long your medications can be stored at higher temperatures and get guidance for any medications or devices that are critical for life.
  • Keep Trico informed if you have life sustaining equipment by submitting the Life Sustaining Equipment Form, which is available on our website or request the form by emailing memberservices@trico.coop.

Food storage

Have enough nonperishable food and water. Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. Use coolers with ice if necessary. Monitor temperatures with a thermometer. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.

How to protect yourself during a power outage

Go to a community location with power if heat or cold is extreme.

Using appliances during power outages

Generators, camp stoves or charcoal grills should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment, or electronics. Power may return with momentary surges or spikes that can cause damage.

Returning after a power outage

When in doubt, throw it out! Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 degrees or higher for two hours or more, or that has an unusual odor, color or texture.

If the power is out for more than a day, discard any medication that should be refrigerated, unless the drug’s label says otherwise. Consult your doctor or pharmacist immediately for a new supply.

Power outage tips

  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed.
  • Use a generator, but ONLY outdoors and away from windows.
  • Do not use a gas stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.
  • Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.
  • Check with local officials about heating and cooling locations open near you.

For more tips, visit: www.ready.gov.

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CEO Column: Pricing Options to Meet Members’ Needs


CEO Column: We are developing more pricing options to meet our Members’ Needs

August 4, 2022

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 this 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 huge amounts of value to Members.

In most respects, energy has always been sold as a service. Members don’t 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) on what has traditionally been a centralized power system, 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 to contribute to these goals, means new price signals are necessary. Rate designs need to follow suit to encourage the beneficial adoption of new technologies, like electric vehicles and DER. In other words, rate design is a significant component of the changes needed to modernize our gird. Fred Butler, former National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) President, once said, “You can’t have a smart grid with dumb rates.”

Your cooperative has established a strategic initiative, along with corresponding strategic projects, to design prices to provide options that meet Member’s needs. Over the course of the next few years, Trico will be developing and seeking approval – from the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) – to introduce several pricing options that Members have indicated an interest in. Examples include more time-of-day pricing options, critical peak pricing options (with low off-peak rates), and electric vehicle rates. We are also developing optional programs and pricing for when Trico can benefit by buying energy and capacity from Members who have on-site generation or storage technologies.

Ultimately, we want to meet the individual and collective needs of the membership. Offering a portfolio of pricing options is just one way we intend to do that. Watch my column for more information as these are rolled out.

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Local Teacher Gains Knowledge with Trico Externship


Local Teacher Gains Knowledge with Trico Internship

August 4, 2022

For two weeks over the summer, Ron Roseman – who teaches computer programming at Canyon del Oro (CDO) High School and sponsors the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Club – went to Trico for an externship.

He worked alongside IT, Technical Services, Design & Engineering, Human Resources and Accounting. He also met with CEO & General Manager Brian Heithoff.

The Teacher Externship program is sponsored by Pima JTED (Joint Technical Education District). The purpose of the program is to allow teachers to keep abreast of changes in the field and use that knowledge in the classroom.

“We’re in our bubble in the classroom,” Ron said. “We don’t have an outside perspective. It opens my world so I can open up my students’ world.”

Last year, Ron did a summer externship at the University of Arizona. He said he chose Trico this year because as a member of the cooperative, “I’ve been impressed with Trico.”

“I came from Texas where utilities are nice to you because they want your business,” he said. “You (Trico) are nice because you want to be, not because you have to.”

Ron said he is thankful to Trico’s employees for their hospitality.

“I appreciate learning what I have,” he said. “I hope to bring that knowledge to my students, so they have a better understanding of what jobs are available and what is expected of them.”

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Trico staff work together to rescue baby hawks

While inspecting lines in Marana, Trico’s line inspector saw a bird’s nest on a pole. Trico linemen Bryan English and Shem Scott were sent to inspect the condition of the nest and found three eggs.

As part of our Avian Protection Plan, Trico contacted a wildlife specialist from Liberty Wildlife to assist.

Later, when Bryan went up to add rubber blankets to cover the energized conductors, he noticed two eggs hatched, so there were two baby hawks and one egg.

The babies and egg were safely transferred to a specialized cooler and were put in a portable incubator for transport to Liberty Wildlife.

Liberty Wildlife gave the baby birds fluids and the egg remained in incubation until it hatched.

Eventually, a Red-Tailed Hawk will take over as “mom” to help raise the babies.