For Immediate Release: April 3, 2019
Tucson, Ariz. – Tucson Electric Power today awarded 10 local businesses, organizations and individuals with 2019 TEP Go Green Awards to recognize them for partnering with TEP to preserve the environment and promote sustainability.
TEP’s new Go Green Awards replace the company’s BrightEE Awards to reflect a broader emphasis on overall sustainability efforts that conserve and protect all of our natural resources, including water, air, wildlife and the environment, in addition to energy.
“The TEP Go Green Awards recognize our forward-thinking partners for their creative and effective approaches to promoting greater sustainability in our community,” said Catherine E. Ries, TEP Vice President of Customer and Human Resources. “Today, we’re honoring a broad range of award recipients for their sustainability and environmental responsibility efforts.”
This year’s TEP Go Green Award winners, by category, are:
• Collaborative Partner Award: The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum was recognized for its ongoing commitment to clean, renewable and eco-friendly energy through its installation of a 10-kilowatt solar parking shade structure for which TEP donated 42 solar panels and three inverters. The Desert Museum also developed a Solar Energy Education Center and exhibit in partnership with TEP to educate visitors.
• Eco-Friendly Partner Award: Southwest Lambscaping LLC was recognized for providing herds of sheep to manage weed growth at TEP community-scale solar arrays. The use of Southwest Lambscaping’s sheep is an eco-friendly arrangement that eliminates the need for using herbicides or gas or electrical-powered equipment for weed control.
• Pioneering Partner Award: Roche Tissue Diagnostics received this award for committing to clean energy with its purchase of 14 million kilowatt-hours of renewable solar energy through the TEP GoSolar Shares program. The program allows residents and businesses to purchase “shares” of solar energy from TEP’s local community-scale solar arrays. Roche plans to eventually meet all of its energy needs with renewable energy, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 15,000 tons.
• Educational Partner Award: The Boy Scouts Catalina Council was recognized for encouraging its troops to pursue and earn an Energy Merit Badge, which involves learning about forms of energy, the transfer of energy and energy resources and efficiency. TEP hosted and conducted a clinic to help the scouts earn their badges. During the clinic, the scouts were challenged to construct a Rube Goldberg machine to demonstrate their understanding of the concept of energy transfer. They created three tranfers of energy that caused a chain reaction to pop a balloon.
• Community Partner Award: Pima County’s Department of Community Development and Neighborhood Conservation was recognized for developing weatherization programs for disadvantaged residents, and then partnering with TEP to make upgrades that improved their energy efficiency and overall comfort of their homes. The department’s efforts resulted in higher safety, comfort and energy efficiency for the residents and a reduction in their future energy expenses.
• Business Development Partner Award: Local First Arizona earned this award for its Scale Up program, a six-week workshop developed to help small businesses save water, energy and money through a variety of conservation measures. Collectively, participants in this program are estimated to save nearly $700,000 in electric costs, $55,000 in water costs and $29,000 in gas costs. Some of these savings were gained from retrofitting their lighting with LEDs bulbs with assistance from TEP’s energy experts and contractors.
• Conservation Partner Award: Civano Nursery of Tucson was recognized for its green waste recycling program, which gives new life to tree trimmings. For the past 15 years, Civano nursery has used tree trimmings cleared away from power line right-of-ways to produce nutrient-rich mulch that the nursery then uses to grow shrubs and trees at its Sahuarita location. These tree trimmings might otherwise end up at the Los Reales Landfill. By recycling this green waste, carbon dioxide emissions from having to transport the trimmings to the landfill are reduced annually by approximately 22,000 pounds, and more than $100,000 is saved from landfill costs.
• Environmental Protection Partner Award: The University of Arizona’s (UA) School of Natural Resources and the Environment was honored for its long-standing collaboration with TEP to protect large birds from electrical lines and equipment through the Raptor Protection Program. The TEP-UA partnership to protect birds of prey and preserve the delicate desert ecosystem has spanned more than 20 years. UA wildlife biologists and researchers identify areas of raptor activity and nesting and, based on their recommendations, TEP installs protective equipment to reduce and prevent the number of hawks and owls injured or killed by energized lines.
• Progressive Partner Award: Mayor Jonathan Rothschild was recognized for bringing to Tucson a public bike share system that provides residents and visitors with a fun, healthy and eco-friendly way to navigate the city. Launched in 2017, Tugo Bike Share is a collaborative partnership among Tugo Bike Share, the City of Tucson and Mayor’s Office, the Tucson Department of Transportation and many businesses, including TEP as a major sponsor. In Tugo’s first year of operation, more than 30,000 trips were taken on these bikes. By replacing driving with bicycling, it is estimated that Tugo users helped reduced CO2 emissions in Tucson by more than 14,000 pounds.
• Big Picture Partner Award: Raytheon Missile Systems was recognized for its holistic and system-wide approach to sustainability throughout the company’s operations. Its efforts include energy conservation, solid waste diversion, use of renewable energy, emissions reduction and other progressive measures. Raytheon’s participation in TEP’s commercial EasySave program earned the company $150,000 in rebates for energy efficiency measures in two of its new building construction projects.
TEP’s commitment to sustainability is demonstrated through these partnerships with our Go Green Award winners as well as by our broad offering of efficiency programs, ambitious expansion of renewable energy resources, and variety of community solar programs for residents and businesses. All of these measures are designed to reduce our customers’ carbon footprint to protect and conserve our natural resources.
TEP provides safe, reliable and affordable electric service to approximately 425,000 customers in Southern Arizona. For more information, visit tep.com. TEP and its holding company, UNS Energy Corp., 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 fortisinc.com.
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