While Earth Day will be celebrated on April 22, Tucson Electric Power practices sustainability throughout the year with programs to help the environment.
In addition to helping customers “think green” with energy efficiency programs, TEP promotes efforts to save cactuses, remove harmful plants and plant shade trees while working to create healthy spaces for birds.
Here are some of TEP’s Earth-friendly programs:
Cactus rescues: Through a collaboration with the Tucson Cactus & Succulent Society, TEP rescues cactuses from construction sites for transmission lines and substations. Cactuses then are relocated to gardens, business properties and public areas such as the Pima County Courthouse grounds. Most recently, TEP and society volunteers removed 1,200 plants from the future site of the Orange Grove Substation. Read more about cactus rescues.
Buffelgrass removal: TEP supports the eradication of buffelgrass, a highly flammable invasive plant that threatens the Sonoran desert ecosystem. Volunteers participate annually in Beat Back Buffelgrass Day, including in January at Sabino Canyon, to pull out the perennial grass and spread awareness of its hazards. Read more about TEP’s buffelgrass removal efforts.
Raptor protection: Along with wildlife biologists at the University of Arizona, TEP works to safeguard electrical equipment to protect birds, including Harris’ Hawks, Great Horned Owls and Red-Tailed Hawks. All new utility poles include raptor protection features. When new nesting sites or bird activity appears near poles and wires, TEP makes changes to protect the birds from electrical hazards. Read more about TEP’s Raptor Protection Program.
Owl habitats: TEP creates new homes for burrowing owls that lose their habitats because of construction through a partnership with wildlife rescue group Wild at Heart. Most recently, volunteers created burrows at the Paseo De Las Iglesias River Park, which has open land that allows the owls to have a clear view of approaching predators. Read about past owl protection efforts.
Energy efficiency: TEP offers many programs that promote energy efficiency for homes and businesses, including savings on air conditioners, smart thermostats and light bulbs. Read more about TEP’s energy efficiency programs.
Trees for You: TEP offers discounted shade trees through its Trees for You program. The trees help reduce customers’ energy consumption by providing shade over homes while also improving air quality and controlling water runoff and soil erosion.