Helping nonprofit groups save on energy costs, supporting teachers with smart energy resources and avoiding waste at school buildings are just some of the sustainable practices we’re honoring this year as we recognize three organizations with 2023 Go Green Awards.

The awards are given annually to highlight meaningful work that protects our environment, preserves natural resources and advances sustainability.

“Our award recipients are being recognized for their exemplary leadership in modeling sustainable practices,” said Erik Bakken, Senior Vice President of Energy Resources and Chief Sustainability Officer.

“Sustainability is one of the core values at TEP, whether it’s expanding our use of renewable energy, helping our customers make wise choices around energy usage or volunteering at local events to help our neighbors. We congratulate these organizations that demonstrate their own commitment every day to doing a better job for the planet.”

This year’s award recipients include:

Sustainable Partner Award, Community Foundation for Southern Arizona

When nonprofit groups save on operational costs, they gain capacity to provide services that meet their core mission. The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona’s Nonprofit Solar Project offers organizations an opportunity to reduce their environmental footprint and strengthen their finances by satisfying some of their energy needs with solar power.

The Community Foundation and 20 nonprofit groups that share its midtown campus enjoy the benefits of solar power and offers a bank of electric vehicle charging stations to support drivers of zero-emission electric vehicles. Ultimately, thriving, healthy nonprofits support a thriving, healthy community.

Educational Partner Award, Tucson Unified School District

We’re recognizing Tucson Unified School District for its work to save energy and water in its schools across the region.

In partnership with TEP, roughly 90 percent of the district’s schools have upgraded from incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs through our program to increase the energy efficiency of schools. Those retrofits not only help save energy but also provide cleaner, brighter lighting to enhance the learning environment for students and teachers.

As part of an effort to save on operational costs, the district also has worked with TEP to modernize its HVAC systems in key schools, saving on maintenance and energy costs and increasing comfort across the building.

Smart Energy Partner Award, Sunnyside Unified School District

We all know teachers are cool. But in the summer, when many of them are home recharging and building out engaging lessons for the coming year, their home energy costs can climb with the rising temperatures. Sunnyside Unified School District was a strong partner in helping get the word out that TEP was offering a free smart thermostat to local school employees and their families to help them save on energy costs while keeping their homes comfortable.

The district also has set a goal of planting 100 trees to honor its 100-year anniversary in 2021 and is partnering with the University of Arizona to create learning opportunities for students around water conservation aligned with the state’s science standards.

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