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FREE Virtual Energy Efficiency Workshop

Flipping a switch. Changing the air filter. Unplugging electronics. Making small changes and using energy wisely can help you save energy and money. Join us VIRTUALLY on April 24, 2024 from 6:00 – 7:00 PM for Trico’s FREE Virtual Energy Savings Workshop. This workshop will center on sharing ways you can save money by reducing energy usage in your home.

RSVP online here.

Rooftop Solar Considerations


Questions to consider before installing rooftop solar

February 1, 2024

The benefits of installing rooftop solar panels may seem like a no-brainer, but the reality is, not every home (and homeowner’s situation) is always right for solar.

There are several factors to consider before installing a rooftop solar system, like determining if your home will receive enough sun to achieve your goals, finding the right contractor, negotiating contracts and other important details.

Investing in solar for your home is a major decision. If you’re considering rooftop solar, Trico can help. We are committed to providing information and guidance to assist Members in determining if solar is right for them. Our Energy Solutions Program Managers are available to serve as your energy partner throughout the solar interconnection process. To get started, visit our website at www.trico.coop/sustainable-energy or call us at 520-744-2944.

Here are questions to consider before installing rooftop solar panels.

  1. What are my goals? If your primary goal is to save money on electric bills, you may be able to achieve this by improving the energy efficiency of your home. Visit our website for a full list of energy efficiency tips and to see our upcoming free webinars and resources.
  2. Is my roof suitable for solar? Your roof should be in good condition before installing solar panels. If your roof is old and in poor shape, it may need to be replaced before panels can be mounted. Additionally, your roof should receive a lot of sun to make the most of a rooftop system. Consider how much sun (and shade) the roof receives and if any trees will need to be removed. Solar panels perform best when facing south, so keep this in mind as you think about where the panels will be mounted.
  3. How long will I own the home? If you’re considering rooftop solar, you’re likely planning to stay in the home for several years. But if you plan to sell the home at some point down the road, consider that not all potential buyers will want to maintain a rooftop solar system. If you enter a contract to lease the system, carefully review the terms and what those mean if you decide to sell the property.
  4. Lease or purchase? Purchasing a rooftop solar system outright is expensive, which is why many homeowners opt to lease their solar panels. However, federal tax credits can help cover some of the costs for a new system, up to 30%. Regardless of how you decide to finance the solar system, make sure you get several quotes from qualified contractors.
  5. Can the contractor provide up-to-date documentation? Request proof and documentation of the contractor’s licensing, permitting and other credentials. Comb through company reviews. Check the contractor’s status with the Better Business Bureau, the AZ Attorney General’s Office, and the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.
  6. Does the contract seem reasonable and fair? If you decide to hire a contractor to install rooftop solar, carefully read the fine print of the contract. Do the system performance calculations seem realistic? Does the project timeframe sound reasonable? Negotiate the contract terms to fit your goals and needs.
  7. Who will maintain the solar panels? Determining who is responsible for maintaining the solar panels will depend on who owns the system. If you lease the system from a solar installer, it may be their responsibility. Periodically, solar panels may need to be cleaned as dirt and debris can impact panel productivity. Parts may also need to be replaced, so it’s important to know who will take on these responsibilities.

If you decide to install solar, you should contact Trico to understand how the interconnection process works as well as what to expect on your bill. The system will likely be connected to the electric grid, so you’ll need to sign an interconnection agreement.

Did you miss our Virtual Solar Workshop on January 16? A recording of the workshop is available on our website at www.trico.coop/sustainable-energy.

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CEO Column: 2024 Annual Meeting


CEO Column: Join Us at the Annual Meeting

February 1, 2024

Get involved! Join us at the Annual Meeting

Every Trico employee is dedicated to our mission: Making a difference in the communities we serve by providing our Members cost-effective and sustainable energy solutions. One way we live that mission is by engaging with you, our Members, to better understand your needs and strive to exceed your expectations.  

With that in mind, one of my favorite events is coming up on April 6, 2024, when Trico will host our Annual Meeting. I always look forward to this event because it’s a great opportunity for our Board of Directors and employees to talk with our Members, hear what’s on their minds, and update Members on our plans for this year and the years to come.

We hope you’ll join us for our Annual Meeting. The business section of the Annual Meeting starts at 11 a.m. at Casino del Sol Resort. Registration will open at 9 a.m., and Members can check out our informational booths and workshops from 9–11 a.m. There will be food, raffle prizes, and trees for sale. Please remember, you must be present to win prizes and please bring a copy of your bill for fast check-in. For those who are unable to attend in person, we also offer a virtual option via Facebook Live.

Whether you attend in person or online, we thank you in advance for coming to the Annual Meeting. As a cooperative, we thrive when our Members get involved. Spending time with you and hearing your take on our community’s energy future is vital to helping us understand how we can best serve your needs.

As I have noted in this column in prior months, the energy industry is in the midst of massive changes. Our Members’ needs are changing, technology is changing, and these changes impact nearly every aspect of how we manage and deliver energy solutions to local homes, schools and businesses. We are ready for the challenge and excited to share updates about Trico’s financial strength, significant projects, and plans to continue providing cost-effective, sustainable, and innovative energy solutions into the future. I hope to see you on April 6, 2024.

You have a say

You may be wondering if your opinion really makes a difference at Trico. I am happy to say YES, it does! In fact, your opinion is essential, because everything we do is shaped by the Members we serve.

Electric co-ops are democratically controlled by the Members we serve, which means you have a say in who governs our co-op. By voting in the annual director election, you can weigh in on the leaders who will make important decisions about the future of the cooperative and how Trico serves your energy needs.

Our board of directors is comprised of seven Members who live and work right here in our local service area, so they are in the best position to know where community investments are most needed. We hope you’ll consider running for the board in the future, and for this year we encourage you all to vote.

We want to make voting as convenient as possible for our Members, so we offer a variety of ways for you to participate. If you join us at the Annual Meeting on April 6, you can cast your vote in person. If you’re unable to attend, you can vote using the SmartHub app or on our website at www.trico.coop. Voting on the website and SmartHub will be available starting February 12, 2024.  

The right to vote for representation on Trico’s board of directors is one of the most significant benefits of being a Member of a cooperative. We hope you’ll exercise the benefits of your co-op membership, vote, and join us for the Annual Meeting on April 6. We look forward to seeing you. Thank you for being a Member.

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Co-op Connections Upgrade


Co-op Connections Upgrades

February 1, 2024

At Trico, we’re always looking out for our Members. We are excited to announce a new feature of our Co-op Connections program: Member Protect Plus.

With Member Protect Plus, you’ll get mobile phone protection, identity theft monitoring and resolution services, roadside assistance and more! Individual and Family plans are available for $12.95 per month and $23.95 per month respectively.

The Co-op Connections program is a free benefit for being a Trico Member. Co‑op Connections has the best deals – from travel and event tickets to prescriptions and pet care – all in one place. By showing the Co-op Connections app at participating retailers, you can save money on items you purchase every day.

Take the savings with you wherever you go. Simply download the free Co-op Connections app to your phone and create an account to access thousands of deals.

Co-op Connections also offers valuable savings on prescriptions, dental, vision, hearing, diabetic supplies, lab testing, chiropractic services, and MRI and CT scans.

For more information, visit www.connections.coop.

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Save the Date Trico 2024 Annual Meeting


You’re Invited to the Trico Annual Meeting on April 6, 2024

January 1, 2024

Trico’s Annual Membership Meeting will be held on April 6, 2024, at 11 a.m. at Casino del Sol Resort.

This meeting is an excellent opportunity for Members to learn about Trico’s business from the past year and get a glimpse of what we have planned for the future. Along with the Board President and CEO speeches, the financial state of the co-op is discussed, and board elections are held at the meeting. Members enjoy breakfast, workshops, and information tables on all of Trico’s programs, allowing them to learn more about the benefits of being a Member.

We invite you to attend the Annual Membership Meeting either in-person or virtually. For those who are unable to attend in person, we will be providing a virtual attendance option via Facebook Live. We want to ensure that everyone can attend, regardless of their location.

Thank you for being a Trico Member, and we look forward to seeing you at the Annual Membership Meeting.

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Trico Scholarships Help Students Achieve Dreams


Trico Scholarships Help Students Pursue Their Dreams

January 1, 2024

Each year, the Trico Foundation awards scholarships to Trico Members and their families to attend a university, community or vocational college. In 2023, 97 students received $500,000 in scholarships.

“The Trico Scholarship gave me a boost of confidence and encouraged me to excel in my academic endeavors,” said Macy Kartchner, who is a senior at Northern Arizona University majoring in Public Health and minoring in Psychology. “Knowing that my hard work and achievements are being recognized and rewarded has motivated me immensely to put in the time to succeed in my classes. Overall, I am incredibly grateful to Trico for creating such a valuable student scholarship. It has enabled me to thrive throughout my college years.”

When Emily Gauthier was a senior in high school, she didn’t consider going to college because her family couldn’t afford it. A friend encouraged her to apply for scholarships. “My first scholarship offer was from Trico and it made going to college much more realistic. I am now only eight months from being the first college graduate in my family!” Emily is majoring in Nursing at the University of Arizona.

Karina Romero said that with help from the Trico Scholarship and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University she was able to spend a semester in Los Angeles and “work under a real-world professional journalist. During my time in L.A., I had a story picked up by USA Today! It is to date one of my greatest accomplishments.”

“The Trico scholarship has been a true blessing for me,” said Hayley Nistler, who graduated from Arizona State University in December with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Sports Science and Performance. “Thank you Trico!”

Chase Verdugo, who graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Biology, said the Trico Scholarship allowed him to focus on his studies. “With the help of the Trico Scholarship, I was able to graduate college and will be pursuing my dream of becoming a medical doctor.”

The Trico Foundation is a non-profit foundation organized in 1985 and funded through Membership Equity Retirements that are gifted or unclaimed. Since 1985, the Trico Foundation has awarded over $3.6 million – benefiting over 712 students.

Learn more about scholarships and how to donate your Membership Equity to the Trico Foundation at www.trico.coop/trico-scholarships.

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CEO Column: Innovating for Our Members


Innovating for Our Members

January 1, 2024

Since Trico was formed over 75 years ago, we have been focused on using technology, creativity, and hard work to improve the lives of our Members. From those early days to now, Trico employees have shared a commitment to providing Members with innovative energy solutions. Back then it was bringing power to areas that never had electricity before; now it includes adding cost-effective, sustainable resources, and in the coming years it will include programs to empower our Members to design their service to meet their unique needs.

Innovation is one of Trico’s core values, and something we talk about every day. We are always striving to improve the cooperative and better serve our Members. As we look forward to 2024, I want to share a few of the ways Trico is innovating to build a more resilient and reliable grid, and meet our Members needs.

The Grid of the Future

Trico is enhancing its reliability by replacing existing Oil Circuit Reclosers (OCRs) with Automated Vacuum Reclosers (AVRs). In the coming years, Trico will replace 96 OCRs with AVRs to improve the system’s capacity, reliability, and resilience. Reclosers are high-voltage switches designed to automatically address disturbances on the grid. If a problem is temporary and resolves quickly, the recloser automatically resets itself and restores power, without a need for manual intervention. Installing AVRs will reduce maintenance requirements, give grid operators greater visibility and control of the system, and allow Trico to set up protection profiles to reduce the frequency and length of outages.

Power Supply

Innovation on power supply is all about balance. Trico is continuing to add solar generation and battery storage, supporting Members who choose to install solar at their homes and businesses, and working with our generation partners to invest in new efficient natural gas technology. The goal of this diverse portfolio is to provide reliable, cost-effective, and sustainable service to our Members.

In early 2024, Trico will complete installation of a 10MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) at Trico’s Sahuarita Substation. The Sahuarita BESS will be able to power around 2,500 homes for about four hours. The BESS will allow Trico to buy and store energy when wholesale prices are low, which will help Trico avoid expensive market purchases and save money for all Members.

Stay tuned for future updates on additional power supply projects that will be completed or started in 2024. Throughout the year we will be sharing details on several projects that will help Trico meet our goal of reducing emissions by 50% by 2032, while ensuring reliable service and affordable prices.

Rate Options

Trico is working to develop a variety of rate options that will provide our Members with choice, and empower Members to better manage their energy usage. The new rates will include additional options for Members with electric vehicles, options for those who want to serve their load with more renewable energy, and other options to help Members tailor their service to match their lifestyle.

The New Year brings hope, opportunities, and new challenges, and Trico is ready to take on the year with a spirit of service and innovation. As always, we are thankful for the opportunity to serve you, our Members. Happy New Year from Trico!


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Member Appreciation Event Thank You!


Thank you for attending our appreciation event at Marana Pumpkin Patch

December 1, 2023

We want to thank the record number of Members who attended our Member Appreciation Event on October 25 at the Marana Pumpkin Patch.

“What a great family community event,” Jessica Foster shared on Trico’s Facebook page. “I saw so many friends. It was awesome getting to visit and catch up.”

We also want to thank the Marana Pumpkin Patch for providing a great venue for our Members to enjoy the holiday season. Admission to the pumpkin patch included pumpkins, corn maze, rides, games, petting zoo, diesel train and more.

Jenn Folino said that this was her family’s first time going to the Marana Pumpkin Patch and they had a great time. “It’s so awesome Trico does this for Members. Thank you for the experience!”

“Thank you to all the Trico employees who sacrificed their night so that we could enjoy ours. We appreciate you and thought it was a very nice event,” Dan Carsons said.

“I hope we can do this again next year. What a great gift to your Members. Thank you Trico!” Kimberly Morey said.

Thank you for being a Member and we hope to see you at a future community event.


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Trico Members to receive record $5.4 million


Trico Members to receive record $5.4 million

December 1, 2023

There are many benefits that come with cooperative membership, but perhaps one of the best benefits is Membership Equity – formerly Capital Credits.

For the 14th straight year, the Trico Board of Directors has approved the retirement of Membership Equity in the amount of $5.4 million, which is a record-high amount. As a Trico Member, you are automatically enrolled in Membership Equity.

Look for your Membership Equity refund as a credit on your December bill. If you would prefer to receive your Membership Equity by check in future years, email us at MembershipEquity@trico.coop or call us at (520) 744-2944, ext. 1510. To receive a check, your refund must be over $10 for both active and inactive accounts.

Trico has been a not-for-profit electric cooperative for more than 75 years. 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 Membership Equity. Annually, when the Cooperative’s financial condition permits, Trico pays, or retires, a portion of the allocated Membership Equity.

We work hard to provide service in a cost-effective manner so we can return Membership Equity to our Members. We changed the name to Membership Equity to highlight the fact that it is your equity in the Cooperative and you are an owner of Trico. It is one significant way we show you are not just a customer you are a Member.

If you would like to donate your Membership Equity to the Trico Foundation, visit our website at www.trico.coop/membership-equity.

We hope this enhances your holiday season. On behalf of the Trico Board and employees, thank you for being a valued Member of Trico. We are here to serve you.

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Free Virtual Solar Workshop

Is solar right for you? Join Trico’s experts virtually as they answer your rooftop solar questions BEFORE you sign with a contractor. Register in advance here.

 

To ask any immediate solar related questions, email us at sunwatts@trico.coop or call us at 520-744-2944, ext. 1524.

Application to ACC for approval of RUS Loan


Application to ACC for approval of RUS Loan

November 28, 2023

Trico Electric Cooperative (Trico) has submitted an Application to the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) for approval of a $58,888,000 loan from the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS). The RUS loan will help to fund the construction of facilities that will ensure power provided by Trico remains reliable and affordable.

Trico is dedicated to providing its Members with cost-effective and sustainable energy solutions. One way we do that is by planning years in advance for upgrades to our system. Every four years, Trico develops a Construction Work Plan that includes projects to strengthen Trico’s grid. This includes building new lines, improving existing lines, adding and upgrading substations, ensuring reliability for existing Members and supporting growth in the communities we serve. This RUS loan will fund the completion of Trico’s 2022-2025 Construction Work Plan (CWP), which includes projects to support every district of our service territory.  

Trico selected a RUS loan because of the affordable interest rates and the decades of experience RUS has in serving non-profit cooperatives. We are dedicated to making a difference in the communities we serve, and this loan will help us to fulfill our mission of providing cost-effective and sustainable energy solutions to all our Members.

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Membership Equity is Your Share of Trico


Membership Equity is Your Share of Trico

November 2, 2023

Member economic participation is vital to a cooperative. I am excited to announce that for the 14th straight year, the Trico Board of Directors has approved the retirement of Membership Equity – formerly Capital Credits – in the amount of $5.4 million. That’s money that stays here in our local communities.

You may be wondering why we changed the name of this Member benefit program. We feel Membership Equity better describes how our Members share in the financial success of our cooperative.

Membership Equity is your share of Trico. Trico is not-for-profit – which means we need to raise money to operate, but we don’t seek to make extra revenue to satisfy shareholders. When there’s money left after all the co-op’s bills are paid, it’s returned to Members.

In general, here’s how Membership Equity (ME) works:

When Trico’s revenues exceed its cost of operations, a profit (margin) is created, and these amounts are allocated to Members’ ME accounts. These credits accrue in the Members’ accounts until the Board approves what is called a “retirement.” That’s when Members who bought electricity from Trico during a certain year will receive a distribution based on the credit applied to the Member’s account, the amount retired by the Board, and the amount of power the Member used. This distribution may be in the form of a bill credit or a check.

Co-ops perform a balancing act – they have to retain enough money to operate and be prepared for emergencies, like storm damage – but they also want to give Members their share of the margins. That’s the basis of a cooperative; it’s owned by the people who use its service or buy its product, so they share in the “margins” – the co-op equivalent of “profits.”

We often get asked why Members can’t receive all the Membership Equity they have accrued. The Membership Equity of all Trico Members builds up over time and is used to fund the maintenance and improvement of Trico’s system. To maintain fairness, Members need to contribute equitably to the continued operation of the co-op. If Members were able to withdraw all of their allocated ME, there would not be funds to maintain and improve the system. By retiring allocated ME on a proportionate and regular cycle, we balance the need to fund the co-op with returning ME to Members. 

ME cannot be returned to Members all at once because doing so would negatively impact the Co-op’s finances and cause increases in electric rates. ME funds are used to keep the electric system safe and reliable and keep electric rates as affordable as possible. When Trico’s finances permit, ME is returned to the Members who paid the rates that created the ME.

Members will see their Membership Equity Retirement on their December bill. Active accounts will see a Membership Equity Retirement posted as a credit on their bill. If you would prefer to receive your Membership Equity as a check, contact us at memberservices@trico.coop or 520-744-2944. To receive a check, your refund must be over $10 for both active and inactive accounts. If a Member moves or no longer has service, Trico must have their current address to send ME notices and retirements in the future.

Thank you for being a valued Member of Trico Electric Cooperative. Membership Equity is one of the many benefits of being a Member of a co-op, and it represents your share of the co-op’s profits. Visit here for more information on Membership Equity.


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