In addition to powering our economy with affordable, reliable service, Tucson Electric Power provides incentives for new and expanding businesses as well as other support for local job creation efforts.
As part of its strategic plan, TEP makes a major effort to bring in and retain new and existing businesses. We regularly collaborate with government agencies and economic development groups to facilitate business location and expansion decisions.
Last year alone, TEP worked with 13 businesses that committed to adding 1,400 new local jobs, either by expanding or moving here. Since 2014, TEP has supported businesses that have made plans to add more than 11,300 jobs.
“We enhance local economic development efforts by collaborating with a wide range of partners,” said Larry Lucero, TEP’s Senior Director of Government and External Affairs.
Lucero provides local leadership as Chairman of the Tucson Metro Chamber’s Board of Directors. Additionally, Dave Hutchens, TEP’s President and CEO, serves as Chair of Sun Corridor Inc., our regional economic development organization.
TEP offers competitive electric rates for service that ranks among the most reliable in the nation. But new and expanding businesses can qualify for even lower energy costs through TEP’s Economic Development Rate, which is designed to attract new employers and encourage existing businesses to grow.
Qualifying businesses are eligible for discounts for up to five years, starting with up to a 30 percent discount on part of their electric bills in the first year. The savings could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. See TEP’s economic development webpage for details.
“This rate helps stimulate the economy in Tucson,” Lucero said.
New business concierge
TEP representatives regularly answer questions from real estate developers and businesses about possible moves to the Tucson area.
When a large business invests in our community, a team of employees assists with its unique needs, from design consultation and energy efficiency programs to transformer installation and line extensions.
“Our team works very hard to assist businesses in their transition into our community. We strive to be helpful to our new and existing customers,” said Dave Couture, TEP’s Manager of Business Development.
Fostering recent growth
For example, after playing a part in Caterpillar Inc.‘s decision to move to Tucson, TEP employees are helping to design the electric service the company will need for its headquarters, which is expected to open early next year. Through a collaboration with the City of Tucson, this work will coincide with other public improvements to attract additional investments in the Mercado employment center, a growing business area west of downtown.
TEP also helped facilitate Raytheon’s major expansion near the Tucson International Airport. Even before those plans were announced last year, TEP worked with Pima County to move electric lines and accommodate road relocation to make the growth possible.
Now, TEP is planning a new substation for the area to support the aerospace and defense corridor that could lead to the attraction of other employers.
“Economic development is a team sport,” Lucero said. “TEP works diligently with our economic developer partners to ensure the region is best positioned to take advantage of business opportunities.”