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Washington Youth Tour 2024

Trico Students Enjoy Washington D.C.

September 1, 2023

Each summer, Trico sends high school juniors on a trip to visit Washington D.C., with more than 1,800 students from electric cooperatives across the country.

Students spend the week visiting monuments and memorials, exploring museums, and touring the U.S. Capitol Building. Students also get to meet with staffers and members of Congress to discuss relevant topics that affect them and their local communities. The four students from Trico who participated in the 2023 Washington Youth Tour met with Representative Debbie Lesko, who represents Arizona’s 8th Congressional District.

“It was such a fun trip and was packed with activities and tours of museums, the Capitol building, a cathedral, and many other places,” said Lisa Duran, who represented Trico as a chaperone. “It was fun to get to know kids from Arizona throughout the week. We got to trade pins with other states throughout the week and had Youth Day on the last night where all the states had some interesting speakers, followed by dinner and a dance for the kids.”

Rowan Wilson, who will be a senior at Empire High School, said “The trip was great! Our nation’s capital holds an incredible amount of history, and every time you step into one of those buildings, it comes alive. You grow up hearing about these buildings and all the historical events that happened in the capital, but this trip lets you see it and it is breathtaking.”

Anthony Talavera, from Tucson Magnet High School, said “The Washington Youth Tour was great. I had such a fun time! My favorite memories were the Nationals’ baseball game and the International Spy Museum.”

The application for the 2024 Washington Youth Tour is available on Trico’s website. Dependents of Trico Members who are juniors in high school are eligible to apply. The deadline to apply is November 1, 2023.

The Washington Youth Tour is supported by the Trico Foundation, a non-profit organization that is funded by Trico Members’ and past Members’ unclaimed or donated Capital Credit retirements. Learn more at


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CEO Column: We can work together to conserve energy, maintain a reliable grid

Summer is coming, and with summer comes high temperatures and high usage of electricity. As we prepare for the hottest days of the year, it is a good time to think about energy conservation. At Trico we are dedicated to providing our Members with cost-effective and sustainable energy, and a big part of sustainability is reliability. When we talk to our Members and review Member surveys, the message is clear: reliability is important. We take that to heart and know it is our responsibility to provide power when and where our Members need it.

You have probably seen articles and news stories about the tight energy market in the West and throughout the country. In its annual nationwide summer reliability assessment, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) found that “two-thirds of North America is at risk of energy shortfalls this summer during periods of extreme demand.” This includes the West.

Trico spends significant time planning for and securing resources to ensure reliability, but the risks described by NERC are regional issues that affect electric utilities across the country. Trico’s mix of resources includes solar, battery, coal, natural gas, and hydro power. This diversity of resources helps to control costs and ensure reliability. Still, on the hottest days, when there are regional weather events affecting several states, power supplies can be strained.

One way we can all help is through energy conservation. We work to achieve that goal in many ways and that includes providing our Members with guidance and tips on how to reduce energy use.

Conservation efforts have multiple benefits, including helping to reduce your bill and reducing stress on the power grid. Relatively small actions can make a significant difference, and understanding how the system works provides you with the tools to conserve. To help reduce your bill and conserve energy, you can take the following actions:

  • Defer use of pool pumps, washers, dryers or dishwashers until after 8 p.m.
  • Turn off unnecessary lights
  • Unplug unused electrical devices
  • Close blinds and drapes during the hot part of the day
  • Use fans to supplement your air conditioning
  • Limit time the refrigerator door is open

You may wonder why waiting to run major appliances helps. Typically, the most critical time to conserve energy each day is between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. During that period, energy usage increases as people return home from work, and the output of solar resources tapers off. That means that the stress on the grid is highest at that time.

To be clear, our intent is to provide convenient, simple actions you can take. You don’t have to wait to make dinner or avoid using your air conditioning to make a difference. We want you to enjoy your summer, and taking these actions can help you save on your bill while also helping the grid and your community.

For more tips on saving energy, please follow Trico’s social media, future editions of the Livewire, and our website.

CEO Column: Cost-Effective, Sustainable Power

A balanced approach to cost-effective, sustainable power

April 26, 2023

Have you ever considered how handy it is to flip a switch or push a button and have instant conveniences?

It seems so simple; you get a little cold or hot, you bump your thermostat up or down; your family gets hungry, you grab food from your refrigerator and heat it up in the microwave or cook a meal on your stove; stressful day at work, you jump into a hot tub of water.

Electricity is one of those reliable and instant conveniences. More than that, it is necessary to support our daily lives and plays a vital role in powering our future (think electric vehicles, heat pumps, and smart home devices).

Trico takes our responsibility to deliver cost-effective and sustainable power to our Members very seriously. I’d like to use this month’s column to make the point that to accomplish cost-effective AND sustainable, it requires a balanced portfolio of renewable and non-renewable sources, at least for the near and medium term.

As many of you know, there are various methods of electricity generation.

Dispatchable resources include coal and natural gas, which are used to generate electricity by combustion (thermal power). Nuclear power can also be generated through nuclear fission using uranium, the heat of which raises the temperature of water and rotates a steam turbine.

Among renewable energies, sunlight is directly converted into electricity (photovoltaics), rotation energy by wind is converted into electricity (wind power), and rotating water wheels are turned by running water to generate (hydro).

Each technology has its strengths and weaknesses, and currently there is no single source of power that can solve Trico’s mission to be cost-effective AND sustainable all on its own. A quick review of the weaknesses of each technology shows that a diverse mix of resources is vital.

  • Nuclear – Expensive, and hard to finance or site.
  • Coal – Emits carbon and is difficult to adjust to changing load requirements.
  • Wind and Solar – Intermittent, because the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine all hours of the day. Coupling these resources with battery storage helps, but given current technology 24/7 coverage with batteries is not cost effective or practical.
  • Hydro – Subject to water availability and impactful on the environment.
  • Natural Gas – Cost is subject to natural gas markets which can be volatile and emits carbon (although substantially less than coal).

So, what do we do?

It is Trico’s goal to reduce our carbon emissions by 50% by 2032. This will result in increased sustainability at a reasonable cost. We have committed to this goal because it serves our mission, not because of any regulatory requirement. We don’t dispute the importance of transitioning our generation mix over time, and our resource planning shows it can be done in a cost-effective manner. It may be counter-intuitive, but we are also including natural gas generation in our plans. Natural gas generation can ramp up at any time of the day to meet Members’ swings in power usage and to adjust to changing weather. This is necessary to help us meet your power requirements 24/7, 365.

Could we reduce our carbon emissions faster? It may be possible but is not practical. With current technology, the result would be increased costs and/or hours during the year in which power may not be available, and because of supply chain issues related to renewable generation equipment the facilities required might not even be able to be built by the time needed.

Which leads to the point of this column, in order to accomplish sustainability AND cost effectiveness, it requires a mix of multiple generation resources. That has been our strategy in the past and is our strategy moving forward, all to meet our Members’ evolving energy needs. We know you depend on us and it is our privilege to serve our Members and our community.


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Trico Donates Portable AC Units to Pima County

Trico Donates Portable AC Units to Pima County

August 23, 2022

Trico is proud to provide five portable AC units to Pima County. These units will help address the issue of keeping their clients safe and cool if their AC breaks during the hot summer months.
Tony Reis, Pima County Housing Rehab Specialist Supervisor, shared, “Our clients in the Trico area will benefit tremendously from these units while waiting for us to go through the process of getting a new AC unit for them.”


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Trico statement on the impact of supply chain constraints

Trico is Committed to Sustainable Energy

July 25, 2022

We do our best to provide excellent service day-in and day-out, and that includes timely installation of quality equipment to support our Members.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Trico has been preparing for supply chain issues by ordering equipment in advance, working closely with our long-term supply partners, and closely tracking equipment delivery schedules.

Due to the current global supply chain issues, certain parts and pieces of equipment, including transformers, have unusually long manufacturing and delivery lead times. Trico buys American-made products when practical, but even those products have been affected by production and shipping delays.

Thank you for your support as we continue to strategize and work hard to maximize the equipment inventory available, and we are dedicated to serving our Members throughout this latest challenge.

Source: NRECA; Design: Kevin Kepple


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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.

After 40 years, Board Director Buckelew retires

After 40 Years, Board Director Buckelew Retires

July 6, 2022

After four decades of distinguished service, Nick Buckelew retired from the Trico Board of Directors in April.

“On behalf of the Trico Board, I would like to thank Nick for his dedicated service to Trico for more than 40 years,” Board President Lawrence Hinchliffe said. “He has always put Members first and made decisions based on what he believed was in the best interest of Trico and its Members. We will miss his leadership, experience and sense of humor.”

With one year remaining on Mr. Buckelew’s term, the Trico Board interviewed six candidates to find someone to serve on the Board. Directors typically serve a three-year term, and the appointed Member will have the option to run for re-election at the end of the year.

Darrell Birkhimer was appointed to represent District 3 (Avra Valley, Picture Rocks). Mr. Birkhimer retired in December 2021 from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association after nearly 40 years of electric utility experience. He has worked for investor-owned utilities, taught powerline schools and worked for three electric cooperatives across seven states. He was a Journeyman Lineman for 12 years and has 15 years of senior-level management experience.

“I have dealt with the challenges electric cooperatives face today,” Mr. Birkhimer said. “I would like to offer my experience serving Trico Members. I am convinced the electric cooperative business model is alive and well, able to meet the challenges.”


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Keep your Trico account up to date

At a time when identity security is so critical, ensuring that the personal information tied to your Trico account is accurate helps us to both protect you and keep you informed.

Accurate information enables us to improve member service and enhance communications for reporting and repairing outages.

We want to be sure we have the right phone number to reach you if there’s an issue with your service or have the correct email to make certain you are receiving the information you need and want from Trico. If someone calls us to inquire about their account, we need to correctly verify their identity before we ever talk with them about anything related to that account.

In addition to keeping Trico updated with your proper phone numbers and email addresses, it’s also important that the name of any household member who needs to be able to discuss your account is listed on the account.

You can update your contact information by logging on to SmartHub, by emailing or by calling (520) 744-2944.

We also encourage you to sign up for Outage Notifications here or through our SmartHub. You can report an outage from SmartHub or by texting “OUT” to 855-937-1858.

We are working to enhance our Member’s experience

A couple of months ago, I mentioned that Trico has established six strategic priorities that will help us innovate and provide a great value, not just today but in the future. The backdrop is that many changes are occurring in the industry and within our membership.

As an organization formed many years ago to meet the needs of homeowners, farmers, ranchers and business owners who it served, and one still owned by those it serves, if we cannot offer value to you, then why do we still exist?

Obviously, that is a rhetorical question, but one that is important, nevertheless. Thus, the need to re-imagine how your cooperative adds value to you and how we can add value in the future.

The first of our six priorities is named “Member Loyalty”. Spelled out, we will be developing products, options, services and events that meet the individual and collective needs of the Members. We have a number of initiatives and projects we are and will be working on that will address this priority.

For example, we want to take advantage of touchpoints to promote Trico’s products, services and programs. This entails reviewing some of our processes related to working with housing developers, and especially when new Members call Trico for the first time.

We will also be looking at our Capital Credit payment process, including likely changing the name from “Capital Credits” to something that better describes what we do, return profits to you, our Members.

We will be taking steps to personalize our Member’s experience with Trico. To accomplish this, we will be revamping our new construction service process, our solar review process, and expanding how and what we communicate to Members during and after outages.

We will also be introducing rate options to Members, assuming the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) agrees. We have filed an off-peak electric vehicle (EV) charging rate and are awaiting approval. This rate will save considerable money for those who own EVs and benefit the entire system. We are also expanding our pay in advance option and filing an optional rate that allows Members to increase the amount of renewables they buy monthly from Trico to 50% or even 100% (stay tuned for more information after the ACC takes action).

And lastly, we will be taking steps to better communicate with Members via social media and at our current and maybe even some new events.

We are excited to get to work on all of the above and know that many Members will see enhanced value as we make progress on these initiatives. As a Member-owned organization, and one that operates on a not-for-profit basis, you can trust that serving you is foremost on our minds.

Is it time to replace your HVAC system?

Is your heating, ventilation and cooling system (HVAC) 15 to 20 years old or has continued service issues?  It may be time to consider installing a new, efficient Energy Star® system.

Here is a list of questions to consider before purchasing your new home HVAC system.

Should I replace all of my HVAC equipment at the same time?

Yes. You want to be sure that all the parts of your HVAC system work together properly. A mismatched system can lead to poor performance and not deliver the expected comfort and efficiency. Seal the duct work or replace, if needed. Ask your contractor to thoroughly inspect and pressure test your system for leaks to repair or replace, as needed.

What’s my house got to do with it?

Before you decide on an HVAC unit, look at making energy improvements to your home. Tuning up the home not only reduces operating costs but can mean a smaller, less expensive HVAC system can do the job. Your HVAC system must be designed to fit your home. The size, construction, orientation and location of your home affects the size of your HVAC system. But first, make sure your home is air tight with caulking, sealing/weather stripping and is properly insulated.

What size system do I need?

To ensure that your new HVAC system operates efficiently, ask your contractor to properly size your new system for your home.

An HVAC system that is too small cannot deliver adequate heating or cooling in extreme weather.

A system that is too large costs more and provides poor temperature and humidity control.

Consider using variable speed units to deliver great comfort year-round and to greatly lower your heating and cooling bill.

What type of system should I buy?

You have many choices when it comes to selecting an HVAC system. Here are some things to consider:

An electric split-system heat pump is a common choice for year-round  heating and cooling.

The efficiency of a cooling system is expressed as a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) number. The higher the SEER (Cooling) rating and HSPF (Heating) rating the lower the operating cost.

Ductless or mini split heat pumps are a great choice, where possible.

Systems with higher SEERs and HSPFs cost more initially, but have lower operating costs.

How do I select a contractor to do the work?

Selecting the right contractor is critical to the performance of your new HVAC system. The contractor is responsible for determining the type and size of the system and explaining your options as well as installing the system. A good contractor also should provide a warranty and after‑sale service.

Don’t sweat your electric bill

Here are a few simple actions you can take this summer to reduce your energy use:

  • During summer months, run large appliances that emit heat (like clothes dryers and dishwashers) during the evening when it’s cooler. This will minimize indoor heat during the day when outdoor temperatures are highest.
  • Routinely replace or clean your air conditioner’s filter. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter can reduce your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent.
  • When it’s warm out, avoid using the oven. Try cooking on the stove, using the microwave or grilling outside instead.
  • Examine your smart or programmable thermostat. Make sure it is programmed for the current season and family schedule. This is one of the best tools at your fingertips, however, you can only achieve these efficiencies and savings if it is programmed properly and adjusted periodically to keep pace with changes in household routines.
  • Air dry dishes. This step can cut your dishwasher’s energy use by up to 50 percent.

Your opinion matters to us

If you get a phone call or email asking you to participate in a survey, don’t be alarmed. It’s not a scam. This summer, Trico is conducting a random survey of our Members.
We encourage you to participate in the survey as your feedback is critical to helping Trico improve service.

Apprentice dreamed of being lineman like his dad

From a young age, Trico apprentice lineman Anthony Anaya dreamed of being a lineman. His father, Dan, has worked at Trico for 30 years.

When Anthony was 4-years-old, he grabbed his dad’s climbing gear out of his truck and put it on.

“I knew from day one that this is what I wanted to do,” Anthony said. “I grew up around here (Picture Rocks, Avra Valley). I’d see the linemen wave as they drove down the road in their bucket trucks. I saw how our Members looked up to my dad with respect. It intrigued me to want to be lineman.”

When Anthony was younger, he also wanted to pursue a baseball career. He played second base for a club team from 8-years-old until 14-years-old. He played baseball in high school at Marana High. He still plays ball for an all-men’s league at Sports Park.

“But the more I thought about it, I knew baseball wouldn’t take me far,” he said. “It took money to make money. I realized being a lineman is what I wanted to do.”

Anthony started at Trico as a Groundman in September 2020. He is now in the first year of a four-year lineman apprenticeship. Anthony said he got emotional when he found out he was hired by Trico.

“For years, it’s what I dreamed of,” he said. “It was a dream come true. I still feel the same way. It’s a great work environment. We’re like brothers out there. Everyone works safe because we all want to get home safe.”

Working safely is one of the many lessons Anthony learned from his father.

“He has taught me to double check everything, to work safe and work hard,” Anthony said.

Dan started at Trico in May of 1992 in the Auto Shop and was a Meter Reader. In April 2003, he became a Journeyman Lineman after a four-year apprenticeship. During his apprenticeship, he learned that Trico and its Members come first. Family comes second. He hopes Anthony and the other young lineworkers understand what it takes to be a good lineman. Over the years, Dan missed some of Anthony’s baseball games, birthdays and holiday gatherings because he was on call.

“Some people dream of becoming a lineman and some people do it for the money,” Dan said. “I told Anthony to do it because it’s what you want to do, not for the money. I’m happy (he wants to be a lineman). It’s nerve-wrecking. I want him to do it the right way and for the right reasons. I try to teach him some tricks. I test him on different scenarios.”

Dan said what makes a good lineman is being able to do it all – overhead and underground power line work – and knowing the whole system and how to troubleshoot.

“I know the system in my head,” Dan said. “I want Anthony to be like that. It’s more than just knowing how to do overhead line work. It’s a credit to Trico that our linemen know how to do all aspects of power line work.”

Anthony knows being a lineman won’t be easy. He understood why his dad couldn’t be there all the time when he was growing up.

“He was the only one working in the family because my parents agreed that my mom would stay home and raise my sister and I,” Anthony said. “My mom did a great job raising us. I understood that he was trying to give us the best life he could. He’s always been dedicated to Trico and his job. It’s a lifestyle. I know at times it’s going to be hard. That I’m going to miss holidays and birthdays.”

Anthony said his father would go out of his way to make up for missing occasions, which wasn’t necessary.

“He was there for me when I was growing up,” Anthony said. “After work, he’d be tired, but he still tried to make a baseball game, play catch or ride dirt bikes. I’m really proud of him, what he did for me and my sister. He always had our back. He put his body through a lot. In his eyes and mine, it was for a good cause.”

Anthony hopes his son, Hudson who is 10-months-old, will want to be a lineman and carry on the family tradition.

“There are several linemen in my family,” he said. “My girlfriend’s family are linemen too. There is a lot of stuff my dad taught me that I want to teach my son. I will teach him to work safely, work smart and think ahead.”

To all the amazing fathers out there, we hope you have a wonderful Father’s Day.