What are you most excited about?
The pace of change and innovation in our industry is really exciting, affecting everything from the way we generate energy to the way our customers use it. At Tucson Electric Power, we’ve been making powerful progress toward our clean energy goals.
We reduced carbon dioxide emissions from our conventional power plants by 32 percent between 2019 and 2022, and we just announced a new goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. While disruption at this scale can be daunting, I find it’s incredibly exciting to be on the front line of these changes, working to make sure they benefit our customers and our community.
What is your biggest challenge?
Striking the right balance between change and stability. We’re transitioning to a clean energy portfolio as fast as we can, but sustainability must travel hand-in-hand with affordability and reliability. That’s why we’re developing a diverse mix of resources, from natural gas to battery energy storage and renewables, to reduce carbon emissions while controlling costs and preserving reliability. We’re also encouraging our customers to be part of this change. Anyone can be a “Net Zero Hero” by using energy more efficiently and shifting usage to periods when clean energy is most available.
What is the one thing you wish everyone knew about TEP?
I’ve been at TEP for nearly 30 years, and what impresses me to this day is the pride our employees take in serving customers and helping us realize our vision of making our community a better place. While most of us take shelter during punishing monsoon storms and stay indoors when the temperatures are unrelenting, our teams go out and work in those conditions. When you ask them why, they will tell you that they take their responsibility very seriously because our service is so critical. The same goes for our employee volunteers, who donated nearly 8,500 hours last year. We also donated more than $1.5 million in company resources to local nonprofit groups. In all, we supported more than 200 worthy causes.
What is the most important characteristic of a great TEP employee?
We want to make sure every employee shares our values. Our work is rooted in safety, respect for one another, continuous learning and doing the right thing. We work with a single-minded focus on putting the customer at the center of everything we do. We regularly ask our customers what matters to them and whether we’re meeting their needs. Then, we work together across cross-functional teams to support innovation and find creative approaches so we can be as effective as possible in delivering the highest value for our customers. Working with courage and embracing innovation is essential in the midst of the strategic transformation that is reshaping our work.
Why are you passionate about what you do?
When you flip the switch and our lights come on, it’s really easy to take what we do for granted. But I still marvel at the scale, complexity and impact of our work. Thanks to a lot of hard work by smart, talented people, grocery stores can keep food at safe temperatures, parents can read bedtime stories, companies consider relocating or expanding, hospitals run and whether you need to use an ATM or a gas pump, modern life just generally and seamlessly sweeps along. I never forget that for a moment.