New program can help TEP users reduce energy bills

Tucson Electric Power's residential and small business customers are invited to participate in a new no-cost pilot program that can help them to reduce energy consumption and lower their electric bills.

Through the new TEP Power Partners pilot program, participants will receive a free, state-of-the-art thermostat and other equipment that allows them to monitor and adjust the temperature of their home or business remotely. It also allows TEP's system operators to cycle off a customer's air conditioner or to adjust the customer's thermostat during periods of peak electric demand.

Customers pay nothing to participate and may find the program helpful in reducing their monthly electric bill, said Denise Smith, director of Demand Side Resources for TEP.

Up to 600 residential and 200 small business customers will be able to participate in the program, which is slated to last for two years. Participants must be TEP customers with both central air conditioning and broadband Internet access who plan to stay in their homes for at least one year. Other conditions may apply.

Customers will be able to access their own near-real time usage data in order to make informed decisions about energy consumption. Residential customers who remain in the program for two years will receive a financial incentive of $50. The pilot program will help TEP evaluate the effectiveness of energy management programs and their effect on customer satisfaction.

TEP customers can sign up for the program by visiting

Traffic delays continue on Magee Road

Drivers can continue to expect slow traffic and delays on Magee Road between Shannon Road and Como Drive as work continues on an extensive underground utility project through the end of the month.

On July 18, traffic was expected to shift to a detour in the eastbound lane of Magee Road. It was created after crews removed the curb along the south side of the road.

That same day, North Tuscany Drive at Magee Road was expected to close to local traffic. This closure will remain in effect until Tuesday, July 26 at 6 p.m. Tuscany Drive is accessible through Como Drive.

All businesses are accessible during construction.

For more information about the project, visit

Free dental exams for kids in grades K-12

Hiremath Family Dentistry is offering a free back-to-school dental exam, including X-rays, to school-aged children in grades K-12.

This is the ninth year that the Oro Valley dental office has made the healthy offer.

Appointments may be scheduled for the month of August. To schedule an appointment, call 797-9524.

Hiremath Family Dentistry is located at 750 Pusch View Lane, Suite No. 100, on the southwest corner of Oracle Road and Pusch View Lane.

For more information, visit

OV Dems donate to SB troop supporters

The Democratic Club of Oro Valley recently donated $120 to the Tucson Troop Support Group in SaddleBrooke.

TTSG was organized about six years ago. Its mission is to provide support for the Arizona National Guard troops and their families, as well as support for the patients in the Tucson Veterans Affairs hospital.

TTSG also provides volunteers for the Military Lounge Office at the Tucson International Airport. The MLO is a USO-type of operation that provides an area where traveling soldiers, veterans and family members can rest and relax.

Free snacks and sodas are available, as well as the use of a TV and computers.

OV procuring department wins national recognition

For the fourth year in a row, Oro Valley's procurement division has received national recognition. The National Purchasing Institute has honored the town with its 16th annual Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award.

The prestigious award was presented to Procurement Administrator Brian Garrity. The town's procurement division was the first ever single-person organization to receive this honor. In considering applications, the Institute looks at the town's electronic procurement system, professional certification of staff, environmental purchasing practices, formal procurement ethics policy and more than 30 other award criteria.

The town is one of 15 government agencies in Arizona and one of 57 cities nationally to receive the award.

The award is given as part of an effort by the National Purchasing Institute to recognize organizational excellence in public procurement. It is earned by those organizations that demonstrate excellence by obtaining a high score based on standardized criteria designed to measure innovation, professionalism, productivity, e-procurement and leadership attributes of the procurement organization.

‘Stuff the bus' for students at Walgreens

Students in Tucson's eight school districts, including Amphitheater and Marana, will benefit from the fifth annual Stuff the Bus School Supplies Drive presented by the Tucson Association of Realtors, in partnership with Walgreens and KVOA-TV's Kristi's Kids.

From July 23 through Aug. 1, the community can bring their donations to their neighborhood Walgreens store or to the TAR office, 2445 N. Tucson Blvd.

The TAR also will host "Stuff the Bus Saturdays." On July 23, donations can be dropped off from noon to 4 p.m. at the Walgreens at 2175 W. Ina Road (at La Cholla) to benefit Amphi School District. A Saturday drive was conducted July 16 specifically for MUSD.

For a list of the locations and more info, please visit

No-kill cat shelter facing financial woes

Casa de los Gatos (Casa), Tucson's largest no-kill cat shelter, is struggling to meet its financial obligations. The shelter is in immediate need of $22,000 to pay its past due bills, including rent, utilities, vet bills and salaries.

"We know this is a difficult financial time for some people, but we desperately need to keep our shelter open to save the lives of the homeless cats and a few dogs in our community. No donations are too small. We have exhausted every other means of raising money, including the financial resources of our staff and volunteers. We feel that our only option now is to appeal to our community for emergency help," shelter manager Sheryl Campbell said in a press release.

Casa de los Gatos provides a loving, cage-free, temporary home for unwanted or abandoned cats and a few dogs.

To make donations or for more information, call Campbell at 289-2747 or visit Donations also can be made at


In our July 13 issue, some incorrect information was included in the registration information for Marana High School. The first day of school is Monday, Aug. 8. Registration for all grades will take place from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the following days:

• For all seniors, Tuesday, July 26

• For juniors A-M, Wednesday, July 27. For juniors N-Z, Thursday, July 28

• For sophomores A-M, Friday, July 29. For sophomores N-Z, Monday, Aug. 1

• For freshmen A-M, Tuesday, Aug. 2. For freshmen N-Z, Wednesday, Aug. 3

New student registration and make-up schedule pick-up will take place from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 3, from noon to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 4 and from noon to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 5. For more information, call the school bookstore at 616-6420.

The Explorer apologizes for the error.


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