Technicians for Sustainability (TFS) has long been concerned about the environment and the community.  It is our belief that to help one is to help the other, and in our line of work, we are happy to be able to do just that.  By installing solar hot water and solar electricity across Tucson, we are partnering with our customers, both home and business owners, to make the changes we think are critical to helping our environment  and our community.  As a testament to this commitment, TFS has offered a solar grant to Tucson nonprofits for the last few years. Each year TFS has invited nonprofits that qualify as 501(c)(3) organizations to apply for our solar grant.  Since the program’s inception in 2008, TFS has been able to offer a variety of grants, both full and matching for many different organizations across the Tucson area.  Giving a solar energy system, either solar electric (photovoltaic) or solar hot water, allows us to give back to our community by helping organizations reduce their energy bills, which allows them to redirect those funds towards their community-supporting missions.

We look for organizations that share our dedication to community and the environment even if they are not directly involved in environmental issues and who have already started on the road toward making their premises more eco-friendly.   Awarded in 2008, our first grant recipient was Arts for All, which provides accessible art education, training and experiences to children and adults with and without special needs in central Tucson.  This nonprofit exercises recycling and bring your own bag programs to reduce landfill waste and also replaced high water use plants with a native landscape.  Since then, we have been able to donate solar energy systems to Southside Presbyterian Church, KXCI Community Radio, Native Seeds SEARCH, Casa Maria Food Kitchen and Amity Foundation.

Our latest recipient is St. Monica’s Roman Catholic Parish.  Located in the East Tucson area, St. Monica’s was founded in 1964, and boasts approximately 3,000 members.  TFS was impressed by their commitment to a green remodel that is already dramatically reducing their energy consumption, making them more energy efficient.  Specifically, the church is replacing an entire wall of single paned windows, which are notorious for being poor insulators, with better insulation.  The money saved from the solar system for St. Monica’s will allow the church to make more energy efficiency adjustments, save more money and provide better care to their congregation and community.

The grant was awarded at the beginning of June, 2012 and will be installed at the church later this year.  We will keep you informed of the process through a real-time blog, complete with pictures of the installation, interviews with different church members and culminating in a blessing ceremony for St. Monica’s new solar system.  Check back to learn more about St. Monica’s solar!

Read about the installation process here.