Tucson Electric Power has partnered with the Tucson Urban League for more than three decades, helping customers pay bills during hard times, making homes more energy efficient and supporting job training programs.
The nonprofit Tucson Urban League was formed in 1971 to provide assistance, education and enrichment programs for local minority residents. TEP has supported many of the league’s efforts over the years.
“Having the Tucson Urban League as a trusted partner enables us to better reach our customers,” said Desiree Dillard, a TEP Energy Efficiency Program Coordinator. “It’s such a positive group to work with. They care about making a positive impact in our community.”
Georgia Hale, TEP’s Manager of Financial Accounting, has held leadership positions on the agency’s board of directors for the last four years.
“The league strives to work collaboratively with local businesses such as TEP and other non-profit organizations to serve the Tucson community,” Hale said.
Since 1982, TEP has partnered with the Tucson Urban League to provide free energy-efficiency upgrades to the homes of limited-income customers.
Eligible homes are upgraded with insulation, cooler motors, sun screens, low-flow shower heads and other items to reduce energy costs. Learn more about the weatherization program.
TEP also helps the Tucson Urban League and other community partners provide emergency bill-payment assistance to qualified limited-income customers. The agencies use donated and federal funds to pay customers’ overdue utility bills, reducing their account balances and helping them avoid disconnection.
The Tucson Urban League provides more short-term assistance to TEP customers than any other agency, said Phil Byrum, TEP’s Supervisor of Customer Service and Special Plans.
“The Tucson Urban League is a huge community advocate,” he said. “It provides a lot of different services that benefit our customers.”
Home Builders Institute
TEP also donated building materials worth $5,000 to the Tucson Urban League from its display at the SAHBA Home & Garden Show in October. The agency is using the wood, flooring, wires and other materials for its Home Builders Institute, where students develop job skills and earn certifications.
“We work so closely with the Tucson Urban League that it seemed to be the perfect beneficiary,” Dillard said. “We knew they could put the materials to good use.”
The institute’s students, ages 17-25, used the materials to learn how to clean up wood, take out nails, use tape measures and hone other skills. Future students will learn how to frame and make walls with the items, said Hector Silvain, Tucson Urban League’s Housing Manager.
Normally, the league has to purchase materials for the class. “Because of TEP’s generosity, we can put more money into the housing program,” he said.