Giving a workshop

Tucson Electric Power helps community groups host workshops that teach customers how to save an average of $300 in utility costs each year – and gives them free tools to do so.

The free Home Energizer Workshops are held in venues ranging from living rooms to conference rooms. During the 90-minute workshops, experts teach customers about easy low- and no-cost ways to save energy and money on their electric and water bills.

Attendees receive kits with $50 worth of energy-efficient items, including a low-flow shower head, faucet aerator, CFL bulbs, an LED night light, window caulking and a caulking gun, refrigerator and freezer thermometers, duct and pipe insulation and weather stripping.

“We provide these workshops to engage with our customers and teach them ways to save energy at home,” said Edith Garcia, a TEP Residential Energy Efficiency Program Manager.

The program began at TEP in 2011. Last year, TEP held 59 workshops, drawing about 1,350 customers.

Four instructors conduct the workshops, including one who is bilingual. During the presentations, they discuss three scenarios: a customer who does nothing, one who takes some cost-saving measures and another who embraces every energy-saving opportunity. That third customer could save more than $800 annually in electric and water costs in a typical home.

“Hopefully, that knowledge empowers people to go home and be part of that movement of saving energy,” said Brian Stark, Program Manager of Environmental Education Exchange, which conducts the workshops on behalf of TEP.

Any group of 20 or more people can sign up to host a workshop. Participating organizations have included public library branches, the Reid Park Zoo, Head Start and the Pima County Superior Court.

TEP also is expanding its outreach to limited-income customers through churches, community centers and the Tucson Urban League.

Stark said attendees always give the workshop strong reviews in evaluations.

“It’s very successful. We always get hosts coming back and wanting more workshops for other customers. We’ve always had high interest,” Garcia said.

Those interested in hosting a workshop can contact Stark at

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