BrightEE awards

For Immediate Release: March 29, 2017

Tucson, Ariz. – Tucson Electric Power (TEP) presented TEP BrightEE Awards today to 14 customers and contractors who achieved significant energy savings by participating in the company’s cost-effective energy efficiency (EE) programs.

TEP BrightEE (pronounced “brighty”) Awards are designed to promote TEP’s EE programs, which enable customers to save energy while producing substantial environmental benefits for the community. These savings help TEP work toward the goals in Arizona’s Energy Efficiency Standard, which requires utilities to achieve cumulative energy savings of 22 percent by 2020. Customers participating in TEP’s EE programs have saved more than 1 million megawatt-hours (MWh) – enough energy to power more than 100,000 homes for a year.

“We can only achieve such significant savings by partnering with our customers,” said Catherine E. Ries, Vice President of Customer and Human Resources. “We’re grateful for opportunities to advise them about energy choices they can make to improve operations and manage utility costs.”

To be eligible for a BrightEE Award, a customer must have participated in at least one of TEP’s customer-funded EE programs, which are reviewed and approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission. The programs have been proven to be cost-effective for all customers by reducing TEP’s long-term need for new energy resources, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and resulting in reduced air emissions and water usage.

This year’s winners include:

  • Community Partners of the Year – Nest and HSL Properties, Inc.: TEP worked with NEST and HSL Properties to help limited-income customers save energy and reduce their monthly utility costs by using advanced programmable thermostats. TEP provided nearly 1,800 Nest Learning Thermostats, which HSL installed at no cost to residents.
  • Program Contractor – Hamstra Heating and Cooling, Inc.: For more than 20 years, Hamstra has been a participant in TEP’s residential and commercial EE programs. A pioneer of home efficiency testing, Hamstra even participated in TEP’s Commercial New Construction Program during the 2015 construction of its new headquarters.
  • Demand Response – Amphitheater School District: In 2016, seven Amphitheater schools signed up to participate in TEP’s Demand Response program, which allows TEP to interrupt electric service when the demand for power is high, and together achieved a nearly 2 megawatt (MW) demand reduction.
  • Homebuilder of the Year – Pulte Homes: With 65 years of homebuilding experience, Pulte Homes designs homes that are 30 percent more efficient than an average home. In 2016, Pulte built more than 230 such EE homes in TEP’s service area.
  • Non-Profit Organization – Vail Christian Church: Vail Christian Church’s new buildings feature EE lighting, insulation and air conditioning equipment, saving nearly 113,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) annually.
  • Private/Charter Schools – Academy of Tucson: The Academy of Tucson switched to LED lighting in 2016 to enhance students’ learning environment and save over 138,000 kWh.
  • Public School District – Flowing Wells: With more than 6,000 students, the district has installed LED lighting and participated in several programs over the past few years, saving more than 1.5 million kWh in 2016 alone.
  • Small Business – Trader Joe’s: Trader Joe’s, a longtime participant in TEP’s EE programs, saved more than 247,000 kWh in 2016 alone.
  • Small Business – Quik Mart: With more than 28 family-owned locations, the company saved more than 655,000 kWh through TEP’s EE programs.
  • Large Business/Government – Pima County Government: With more than 160 completed EE projects, Pima County has saved nearly 9 million kWh through TEP programs. Pima County’s manages other sustainability initiatives through its Wastewater Treatment Facility, Office of Sustainability and projects like efficient cooling towers at the Pima County Jail.
  • The Big Picture Award – Raytheon: The “Big Picture Award” honors a customer that shows sustained dedication to saving energy. Raytheon has invested in new energy efficient technologies while continuing to invest in its business, saving more than 600,000 kWh in 2016 and cumulatively saving more than 4 million kWh.
  • Sustainability Partners of the Year – Fort Huachuca: This new category is designed to recognize an overall commitment to sustainability. In addition to the installation of LED parking lights, Fort Huachuca eliminated unnecessary sprinkler systems, constructed water retention features and planted low-water plants in housing areas.

TEP President and CEO David G. Hutchens also presented a Lifetime Achievement in Sustainability award to Gina Murphy-Darling, host of the ‘Mrs. Green’s World’ online radio show. Murphy-Darling, who launched the show in 2008, offers simple, creative ways for individuals, families and companies to adopt environmentally friendly practices.

TEP’s EE programs offer incentives to residential and commercial customers for installation of energy-efficient lighting equipment and controls, air conditioning equipment, duct leak-repair measures and other energy efficient technologies.

TEP provides safe, reliable electric service to approximately 417,000 customers in Southern Arizona. For more information, visit TEP and its parent company, UNS Energy, are subsidiaries of Fortis Inc., which owns utilities that serve more than 3 million customers across Canada and in the United States and the Caribbean. To learn more, visit


News Media Contact: Joseph Barrios, (520) 884-3725,

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