When our employees access private property, some people question their credentials – with good reason. Scammers and thieves have been known to impersonate utility workers.
But many such visits are legitimate and legal. Under Tucson Electric Power’s rules and regulations and Arizona Revised Statute 40-431, our troublemen, line locators and metering technicians must be granted access to private property during reasonable hours to perform duties that ensure safe, reliable service.
TEP employees may need to read, exchange, service or test our electric meters or locate and mark underground electrical facilities as requested by the Arizona 811 center. Other times, our troublemen or line crews are investigating reports of downed power lines, outages, voltage quality or damage to our equipment. Sometimes, they need to repair or upgrade equipment.
For the safety of our customers and employees, it’s important for you to know how to identify our field workers:
- Look for the TEP logo on our clothing, safety equipment and vehicles. Sometimes, but not always, our crews carry special electrical equipment and tools or are wearing a bright safety vest.
- Ask the reason for the visit and request to see their identification. All TEP employees must show their ID badge upon request. To protect our employees’ privacy, their names will not be shown on the badge.
- You also can call TEP Customer Care at 520-623-7711 to verify whether crews are working nearby, or to verify the number displayed on a vehicle bearing our logo.
“Our employees will always identify themselves as company representatives and explain a reason for their visit. We will never solicit any type of sales or ask customers for any personal information,” said Frank Mendez, TEP Transmission & Distribution Metering Supervisor.
All company vehicles display the TEP logo along with a vehicle number, he added. “When in doubt, customers are encouraged to call us and we can verify service at that location.”
Mendez noted that in most cases TEP will attempt to provide advance notice of our visit when a meter is being exchanged. “Customers will receive a call and postcards by mail from us letting them know about the work and that they may experience a brief outage during the exchange. Advance notice isn’t always possible if we need to perform emergency or priority repairs, and that’s when customers should contact TEP to verify our employees are working in their area.”