Some of our customers may not realize that TEP provides solar energy to their homes on a daily basis. But at public events, they can see firsthand how solar energy can power a TV, a stereo, video games and even a grill.
TEP employees take our solar trailer to events once or twice a month to show our customers how solar panels work. The trailer is part of our goal to educate customers about TEP’s efforts with renewable energy.
The original yellow trailer was built about 20 years ago. In 2014, Justin Orkney, now a Senior Program Manager, redesigned the trailer with features that would attract customer attention.
“We wanted to make it more of an entertainment piece,” Orkney said.
The trailer can fold out to 25 by 14 feet, revealing flat-panel televisions and other accessories. Customers can watch videos and listen to music with power provided by the solar panels and supporting batteries. The trailer also has a built-in electric grill.
At these events, TEP employees John Roebuck, Sam Molina Jr. and Orkney talk with customers about the trailer and our company’s commitment to renewable energy. Some regular events include the Earth Day Festival at the Children’s Museum Tucson, Southern Arizona Construction Career Days, the Oro Valley Music Festival and University of Arizona football tailgate parties.
Event participants who encounter the trailer often ask about how it works. Many have other questions about solar energy. Some even ask if they can buy a solar trailer.
“If the trailer is out there, we have a lot of conversations about solar energy,” said Roebuck, a Program Coordinator in Renewable Energy. “It is a great way to engage with the public.”