Tucson Electric Power is committed to supporting customers who are service members by helping them establish energy-efficient facilities, enhancing their families’ quality of life and hiring veterans.
TEP maintains strong ties with Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Fort Huachuca and the Tucson Air National Guard in a variety of ways. TEP recently assisted Davis-Monthan in its successful bid to be named this year’s top base in the U.S. Air Force, which was announced in May.
“It’s about recognizing the benefit that military service members and installations bring to the community and helping them achieve their goals,” said Ryan Anderson, Senior Key Account Manager, who works with military installations.
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base
TEP helps Davis-Monthan, or DM, by providing energy-efficient improvements, promoting the base’s importance in the community and supporting its military families and planning for future growth.
TEP supported Davis-Monthan in its competition for the 2018 Commander-in-Chief’s Installation Excellence Award. During a base inspection, TEP officials met with Maj. Gen. Timothy Green and showcased the resiliency of the on-base TEP substation. They also discussed TEP’s plans to help with the base’s future energy resiliency needs.
The award is based partly on community partnerships, quality of life and energy conservation – all efforts backed by TEP.
Also, a TEP representative has long participated with the DM50, a nonprofit, volunteer service organization of civic and business leaders that educates the community about the base’s significance to the region.
As a three-year member of the DM50, Dave Couture, TEP’s Manager of Business Development, works with the group on issues such as transportation and security. The group also organizes an annual family picnic for the airmen and airwomen and their families and conducts fundraisers for items of need and facilities.
“Our goal is to provide a better quality of life for our airmen and airwomen and their families,” Couture said.
Company leaders have stepped up to advocate for the base’s continued operations. When DM’s operations were threatened by proposed military spending cuts in 2014, President and CEO Dave Hutchens hosted a gathering of business and civic leaders to discuss support of Southern Arizona’s bases.
Fort Huachuca Solar Array
About seven decades after TEP began providing electricity to the Fort Huachuca U.S. Army base near Sierra Vista, the company enhanced its service with an innovative on-site solar array.
The system was the first of its kind to be built, owned and operated by a utility for a military facility’s use. The arrays, including an expansion completed last year, can produce up to 22 megawatts – enough to fully power the base.
In addition to providing safe, reliable service, the partnership also helped the U.S. Army achieve its renewable energy and security goals.
“We’re proud to partner with our military installations to make them more resilient and secure,” Dave Couture said.
TEP is continuing talks with Fort Huachuca officials about how to best support their future energy needs.
TEP actively recruits veterans into a variety of jobs and helps them in their transition out of military retirement.
One out of 11 TEP employees is a military veteran.
An internship program, the Career Skills Program, supports military service members as they transition into the civilian workforce. Thirteen military service members have participated in the program since it began in 2016. A majority have been placed in jobs and have successfully completed the transition process.
Air National Guard Energy Efficiency
TEP helped the Guard upgrade its Tucson facilities to become more energy efficient.
The Arizona Air National Guard received a $185,000 rebate check from TEP last year for replacing lighting fixtures and upgrading its energy management system, which controls heating and air-conditioning for its facilities.
Cathy Ries, Vice President of Customer and Human Resources, was named an honorary base commander because of TEP’s support.
Backing Our Troops
TEP employees back our military members in other ways throughout the year.
For Veteran’s Day last year, TEP sponsored a table at YMCA Community Military Breakfast that honored Vietnam-era veterans.
Employees have organized drives for care packages and the creation of holiday greeting cards to deployed military service members who can’t be home for the holidays.