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Two Local Businesses are Finalists for the People & Planet Award

February 10, 2015


Two Local Businesses are Finalists for the People & Planet Award

Tucson, AZ – February 10th, 2015 – Two local businesses and hometown heroes, Sky Bar and Technicians for Sustainability (TFS) have been selected as finalists for the prestigious People & Planet Award for Green Businesses, offered by the national non-profit, Green America. Their winter award, for businesses demonstrating innovation in clean energy, will be awarded to three winners and comes with a $5,000 prize for the business.

Both Tucson businesses strive to support clean energy in their own ways. TFS installs proven solar technologies for homes and businesses throughout Southern Arizona, empowering people to be more sustainable and save money off their electric bill. Sky Bar exercises many green practices to reduce their carbon footprint including receiving 100% of their electricity from solar power, a recycling program, and using recycled materials.

Voting for the award opened at the beginning of February and will close on March 2nd. TFS and Sky Bar invite you to learn more about what each finalist is doing to support clean energy and place your vote by following this link:

Both businesses plan to use their winnings to support their mission. Should TFS be awarded the $5,000 grant, they will invest it directly in employee empowerment programs, specifically through the implementation of open book management and a transition to an employee ownership model. This award will increase the financial literacy of employees while offering higher participation and ownership of company success – further enhancing their ability to deploy clean energy solutions to Southern Arizona. Sky Bar plans to invest in more energy saving devices such as energy efficient lighting.

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About Sky Bar

Sky Bar is a solar-powered café by day astronomy bar by night.  Sky Bar is the only 100% solar powered bar in the world.  Located on Tucson’s historic Fourth Avenue, guests are invited to enjoy premium coffee, fresh baked breakfast calzones, muffins and scones, as well as any number of creative cocktails as the sun heads down.  At night Sky Bar turns in to an astronomy themed night club, with multiple telescopes for patrons to enjoy with the help of an astronomer.  Three large projectors display planetarium like cosmic shows in this chic yet comfortable environment.  Patrons can also enjoy pizza from next door at 100% solar powered Brooklyn Pizza Company.  Both businesses are committed to the environment, and to making the world a better place than they found it.

About Technicians For Sustainability

Technicians For Sustainability (TFS) is a locally owned, mission-driven business, committed to walking their talk. They provide businesses, public institutions, and residential homeowners with high quality, clean, renewable energy systems, helping to translate environmental values into practical reality. The company employs proven technologies to meet customers’ specific needs, including solar electricity, solar hot water heating, and water harvesting. TFS has installed over 9 megawatts of solar power in southern Arizona. For more information about Technicians For Sustainability visit

Tiernay Marsh Karen McKay
Technicians for Sustainability Sky Bar
(520)740-0736 (520)820-2868


Green Business People & Planet Award Finalist

February 2, 2015

At TFS we strive to help businesses and homeowners make the switch to clean, renewable solar energy solutions. That’s why we’re excited to be nominated and chosen as a finalist for the Green America’s People & Planet Award, a program offered by the national non-profit Green America. TFS is one of ten finalists – along with our friends at Sky Bar – and we are asking for your vote to ensure that we are one of the three winners.

Each winning company will receive a $5,000 grant, and winners will be chosen by the public. We hope you will vote for us for some very simple reasons:Fall-VOTE-button-Web-ready-(3)

  • We are mission driven: Our goal is to ensure that Southern Arizona’s natural resources are used efficiently and with respect for present and future needs.
  • We ‘walk our talk': We live with the systems we install, make fuel-efficient transportation choices, and whenever possible, work with companies that hold comparable values, standards, and ethics.
  • We are community focused: We work with schools and community organizations to implement education programs, provide internships, sponsor non-profits, and have a variety of donation programs.

We know that invested, empowered employees increase TFS’s ability to carry out our mission of making solar energy accessible to Southern Arizonans. As such, should we win the $5,000 grant, TFS will be investing directly into our employee empowerment programs. Specifically, we are transitioning to an employee ownership model, and we will also be establishing an open book management system. This award will be used to fund the training and implementation of these programs and will increase the financial literacy of employees, offering higher participation and ownership of company success.

Follow this link to see our profile & vote on the Green America website. 

Take aways from the Dec. 18th Arizona Corporation Commission hearing

December 22, 2014
Quick take away from Thursday, December 18th’s  Arizona Corporation Commission hearing: The ACC approved the TEP 2015 Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff (REST) plan. On the down side, they eliminated solar hot water incentives, which reduced the price of a system by about $1,000. We at TFS believe that for higher volume hot water users, solar is the best energy source, and we are sorry to see the commission withdraw it’s support.
On the plus side, the “Utility Owned DG” program to install up to 600 systems on residential roof tops under a special tariff was approved. We support this TEP program as expanding choice for solar consumers, as well as paving the way for a better grid and a more responsive utility. Look for more news to come as TEP’s program is rolled out in the spring, and the selected solar contractors that will install the projects are announced.

TFS Becomes a Certified B Corporation

August 7, 2014

Technicians for Sustainability becomes a Certified B Corporation Locally owned solar installation company joins prestigious group of ethical companies committed to environmentally and socially conscientious business practices. Tucson, Ariz. (August 5, 2014) Technicians For Sustainability (TFS), a locally owned and operated solar installation company in Tucson, announced today that it has completed a rigorous certification […]


Youth Stewards Project Seeking Applicants

May 6, 2014

Calling all youth—ages 15 to 23!  The Community Water Coalition wants you to participate in their Youth Stewards for a Secure Water Future program! Do you want to: Add your voice to the vital conversation about water in our community Gain valuable experience and build your resume Make strong connections in local government, non-profit groups, […]



March 19, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact Info: Kylie Walzak, Cyclovia Tucson Event Coordinator Living Streets Alliance P.O. Box 2641 Tucson, AZ 85702-2641 520. 261.8777 COUNTDOWN TO CYCLOVIA TUCSON: ARIZONA’S LARGEST CELEBRATION OF CAR-FREE STREETS Tucson, AZ (March 19th, 2014) – Cyclovia Tucson returns to Downtown and the City of South Tucson on Sunday April 6th, […]


Technicians For Sustainability & Easter Seals Blake Foundation Celebrate Installation of State-of-the-Art Solar Parking Shade Structures

November 7, 2013

For Immediate Release Contact: Nicole Koch Office: 520-740-0736 Email:   Technicians For Sustainability & Easter Seals Blake Foundation Celebrate Installation of State-of-the-Art Solar Parking Shade Structures Over $600,000 in utility savings for the non-profit projected over 20 years   TUCSON, Ariz. (November 7, 2013) – Easter Seals Blake Foundation, one of Southern Arizona’s largest […]


Amicus Solar Cooperative

Amicus Solar Cooperative, of which TFS is a founding member, was interviewed by SolarPro Magazine.  The interview discusses Amicus’ role in facilitating the exchange of ideas between other local (although in different markets) companies, as well as increasing each individual company’s purchasing power through group-buying, among other things.           Link: Stephen Irvin, Amicus Solar Cooperative


TFS Open House 2013

November 6, 2013

Parking Map


Casa Maria Food Drive

September 16, 2013

To celebrate the 2nd anniversary of Casa Maria Soup Kitchen’s solar system, we’re hoping to raise awareness and fuel a small food drive for Casa Maria.  Who’s with us? The solar soup kitchen helps feed many hungry people each month, and an extra donation always helps!  Please drop off donations at the TFS warehouse, at […]


The Tucson Nature Conservancy’s solar turns 5!

September 9, 2013

The Nature Conservancy, an international organization, is dedicated to preserving the lands and water necessary for life on Earth.  They have been operating in Arizona for many years and besides their Tucson office, have 6 satellite campuses and preserves.  The Nature Conservancy has long been dedicated to “walking the talk” and took a big step […]


Youth-Centered Bike Camp Builds Skills and Confidence Over TUSD Fall Break

September 4, 2013

Tucson (September 4, 2013) – El Grupo Youth Cycling presents a special installment of its Youth Summer Bike Camp during TUSD’s Fall Break from October 7-11, 2013 for youth aged 7-13 years old. 100% of participants’ parents recommend our camps to others! Through our Youth Bike Camp program your child’s confidence, knowledge, and skills increase […]


Win a Solar Revolution Shirt!

July 8, 2013

For the next five days we will send out one shirt to the winner of our daily raffle!  Just email a photo of yourself with your solar panels along with your name and address to  Please also include your preferred t-shirt size (women’s or men’s) and color (grey, sandy brown, blue, or grass green) […]


St. Monica’s Solar Install: Part 2

May 9, 2013

St. Monica’s Roman Catholic Parish’s solar electric system has been installed and their green remodel is finished! The 5kW donated system will produce 765 kWh of clean electricity for the church each month, and will help to reduce their electric bills by about $900 every year. On March 18th TFS got back on the roof […]


TFS on Arizona Illustrated

March 8, 2013

Arizona Illustrated recently did a series of articles on solar in Tucson.  They spoke with Hank Krzysik, architect and parishioner at Our Mother of Sorrows , Kevin Koch of Technicians for Sustainability and a number of houses of worship that have decided to install solar to provide for their electricity.  The series looks into environmental […]


TFS on Downtown Low Down

Danielle was invited to speak on KXCI Community Radio to discuss our 2013 Open House that took place on Feb. 28th. KXCI Community Radio


St. Monica’s Solar Install: Part 1

February 11, 2013

Last week the TFS solar technicians were up on the roof of St Monica’s Church, beginning to install their new solar electric system.  St. Monica’s, which was the 2012 recipient of the TFS Solar Grant, is undergoing significant remodeling of the interior, exterior and roof of the building.  We’ve been working with the primary architect […]


St. Monica’s Church- TFS’s 2012 Solar Grant Recipient!

September 3, 2012

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 […]


New Southwest Gas Solar Hot Water Incentive

August 22, 2012

Tucson Electric Power (TEP) has been offering incentives to switch to solar hot water for several years and now Southwest Gas is offering their own incentive.  The new Southwest Gas rebate has limited funding, and is a great deal.  If you need an excuse to save the environment and reduce your monthly expenses, then check […]


St Francis in the Foothills Honors Nature with Solar

June 25, 2012

Tucson, AZ- June 25th, 2012- St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church is proud to announce the adoption of solar electricity that now powers their facility, including the church itself and the adjacent International School for Peace preschool.  Their main motivation to install solar power on the church was to uphold their vision statement, […]


Tucson Church Saves with Solar

April 17, 2012

Tucson, AZ- April 17, 2012- St. Philip’s In The Hills Episcopal Church is celebrating the completion of their solar power system. Installed on three covered parking structures, this project was made possible by a generous gift from dedicated parishioner Dr. Donna Cosulich. The solar system allows the church to save money and make a public […]


Technicians for Sustainability 2012 Solar Grant Open Applications

February 1, 2012

Tucson, AZ – February 1, 2012 – Technicians for Sustainability (TFS)  is proud to announce the opening of our 2012 Solar Grant application process.  Starting immediately we will be accepting applications until March 21, the Spring Equinox. The TFS grant program is funded by 1% of our revenue to help non-profit groups install renewable energy […]


TEP 2012 Incentive Q&A

January 30, 2012

The solar industry in Tucson has been experiencing a number of changes regarding the TEP utility incentives. We are happy to keep you in the loop: below you will find answers to some common questions. Is there still money for solar? The incentive for solar electric (photovoltaic) systems in Tucson Electric Power (TEP) service territory […]


Swim, Bike, Run – Powered by the Sun

January 17, 2012

Tucson, AZ- January 13, 2012:, Tucson’s very own triathlon, cycling, running and swimming gear shop, is now generating up to 100% of their electricity from solar power.  The 128 kW solar electric (photovoltaic) system, designed and installed by Technicians for Sustainability, consists of two solar arrays mounted on custom built steel shade structures and […]


2012 Solar Policy Update

December 22, 2011

On December 20th, 2011, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) passed the Tucson Electric Power 2012 Renewable Energy Standard Implementation Plan, throwing a lifeline to commercial solar opportunities, but failing to deliver on hundreds of letters and comments from Southern Arizonans requesting more residential solar rather than a lower surcharge. As some of you may know, […]


What exactly is net metering?

November 7, 2011

One of the exciting aspects of going solar is that your business becomes its own mini power plant. When you make the switch to solar electricity (PV), your utility company will switch out your current meter with a NET meter. The NET meter keeps track of the amount of energy your PV system sends back to […]


All Charged Up at Brooklyn Pizza Company

October 3, 2011

Tucson, AZ- October 3rd, 2011- Brooklyn Pizza Company and Sky Bar announce the installation of two new electric vehicle charging stations in their shared solar covered parking lot. The two Blink electric vehicle charging stations have been installed near the solar canopies at Brooklyn Pizza Company and Sky Bar on Fourth Ave. These charging stations […]


Soup Kitchen Saves with Solar

Tucson, AZ- October 3rd, 2011- Casa Maria Soup Kitchen announces the completion of its rooftop solar power system. The 3.87 kW solar electric (photovoltaic) system was paid for by a grant from Technicians for Sustainability, an incentive from Tucson Electric Power (TEP), and private donations. Producing over $70 dollars worth of electricity each month, the […]


Is Solar Hot Water Right for Your Home?

July 11, 2011

Need some help understanding the financial ins and outs of solar hot water?  If you are considering installing a solar hot water collector, the following table will give you some tips about the best way to take full advantage of your investment. TFS strongly believes that getting hot water from the sun is the best […]


Southern Arizona Solar Standards Board

June 13, 2011

As the solar industry continues to shine in Southern Arizona, a new organization, known as the Southern Arizona Solar Standards Board (SASSB), has been introduced to ensure that consumers receive professional, quality service when solar equipment is installed at their homes. Why? With the tremendous growth of the solar industry in southern Arizona, Tucsonans have […]


TFS’s Nissan Leaf: Real World Electric Vehicle Performance in Tucson

May 27, 2011

The TFS Nissan Leaf is powered by the sun. Durring the month of May, we drove 685 miles which translates to 142 kWh of electricity consumed. The car can easily be powered by a 1kW solar PV system.


Amity Foundation

May 2, 2011

Amity Foundation is seeking a grant from TFS to install a solar energy system at their Circle Tree Ranch campus located in Tucson, AZ. Social Actions Amity has provided treatment services to the men, women, and children of Tucson for over 42 years. Intent on addressing the needs of the most marginalized individuals of our society, […]


Coyote TaskForce

Coyote TaskForce is seeking a grant from TFS to install a solar energy system at their downtown Tucson building housing Our Place Clubhouse and Café 54. Social Efforts Coyote TaskForce is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in May of 1989 dedicated to improving the lives of individuals living with Serious Mental Illness (SMI) throughout Pima […]


October is Energy Awareness Month

October 20, 2010

A presidential proclamation, in 1991, made October Energy Awareness Month. For 19 years, non-profit organizations, large and small businesses, government organizations, and concerned citizens have celebrated this month with activities and actions to promote public understanding of our energy needs and simple ways to reduce the amount of energy we consume in our everyday lives. […]


Energy Efficiency: Are you missing the mark?

September 21, 2010

An interesting paper has recently been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences entitled “Public perceptions of energy consumption and savings”, which suggests that when it comes to conserving energy, many people seem to be missing the mark. In a national online survey, 505 participants reported their perceptions of energy consumption and […]


Celebrate Your Solar

July 14, 2010

TFS customers throughout Southern Arizona are showing their solar pride and promoting the solar power movement.  Making the switch from fossil fuels not only benefits you, but also our shared environmental future. Below are a few ways that you can let your fellow community members know you are making a difference. Once again, thank you […]


Watts & Kilowatts & kWh… Oh My!

July 11, 2010

We have all looked at a lightbulb and noticed that it says, “100 Watts,” but what does that mean? We’ve also looked at our utility bill and seen that we’ve been charged for the amount of kilowatt-hours (kWh) we’ve used. But, again, what does this all mean? These terms are often used incorrectly and interchangeably, […]


Solar Education Programs

July 7, 2010

As part of our mission, we believe we have a social responsibility to educate our fellow community members about solar energy and the importance of employing renewable resources. We are always willing to speak with local groups about sustainability and solar power. Solar Open House We understand and appreciate that each of our customers serve as […]


Referral Program

June 28, 2010

Solar provides enormous benefits for the environment and your wallet, but it’s also great for our community. Do you know someone who is interested in going solar? Each time you send us a referral that results in a new TFS customer, we’ll make a $100 donation, in your name, to your favorite local non-profit (must […]


Photo Journal: Culvert Cistern Installation

Below is a photo journal of a culvert cistern installation completed by the TFS water harvesting crew. The full installation took place over two days, one week apart. Day 1 TFS crew arrives on site, marks out cistern location and levels ground. Underground plumbing is put together and buried in the pad. Gutter and rainhead […]


Local Non-Profit Organizations

June 25, 2010

There are many great non-profits to support with your customer referral. Below, are some of the organizations that strive to make southern Arizona a great place to live, for present and future generations.   Tucson Clean and Beautiful, Inc. – Mission: To preserve and improve our environment, conserve natural resources, and enhance the quality of […]


Industry Yard Signs

June 21, 2010

The following are examples of the industry yard signs that TFS has had made. If you are interested in having these signs made for your company, e-mail Tiernay Marsh at for a file that you can customize with your company information.  TFS currently has these yard signs made at Signage for about $12 each. Each sign […]


Survey Shows More Americans Support Solar Energy

June 11, 2010

Solar energy is getting the positive attention and widespread acceptance it deserves. A recent study from Rasmussen Reports (a comprehensive public opinion poll) showed that 44% of Americans believe in investing in solar for their home. According to the survey, nearly one out of three adults (31%) say they are at least somewhat likely to […]


Solar Continues to Shine Bright

June 1, 2010

Solar continues to Shine Bright in SEIA’s 2009 Year in Review Once again, we are seeing proof that an economic recession can’t stop the sun from shining in, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). They recently released the 2009 U.S. Solar Industry Year in Review, which reports on the health of the solar […]


TFS Visits Local Schools to Teach Solar Facts

May 23, 2010

These days, elementary students have heard of the impacts of climate change, greenhouse gases, and conservation.  Also, as the need for clean, renewable energy becomes more pressing, the topic of solar energy is increasingly integrated into school curriculum and lesson plans. Solar power is not a topic of discussion for the future, but a lesson […]


The Open PV Project: See Solar Grow

May 21, 2010

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to actually watch the solar movement grow right in front of your eyes? If the answer is yes, then have we got a tool for you! The solar industry now has eye-popping, interactive maps and charts that show where PV systems are being installed, how big […]


Solar Can Meet 10% of U.S. Energy Needs by 2030

May 17, 2010

The solar energy report, “Building a Solar Future: Repowering America’s Homes, Businesses and Industry with Solar Energy,” was released recently, which outlines a plan for using solar power to meet 10% of the United States’ total energy needs by 2030. The report explains how solar energy can be incorporated into our homes, businesses, farms, and […]


Increased Incentives Help Tucson Businesses Tap the Sun

April 6, 2010

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC)  approved Tucson Electric Power (TEP) Company’s 2010 application for its renewable energy standard tariff (REST) implementation plan. The REST plan, which became effective February 1, 2010, will increase the utility rebates for businesses that install commercial solar electricity and/or small commercial solar hot water systems. The 2010 implementation plan will […]


Coal’s Assault on Human Health

February 9, 2010

Recently Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) released a medical report, “Coal’s Assault on Human Health,” which takes a new look at coal’s effect on public health. The report examines the impact of coal pollution on the major organ systems from the lungs to the brain. This report caught our attention since nearly 95% of our […]


10 good reasons to go solar in 2010!

February 2, 2010

1. Lock in your electricity rates Investing in a solar electric system is like buying 30 years of electricity at a fixed rate, thereby reducing your exposure to rising utility rates. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration,  Arizona had the third highest utility rate in the western U.S. in 2009 (following California and Oregon).  […]


Solar: Creating Both Electricity and Jobs Close to Home

With the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that unemployment in the U.S. has reached over 10%, it is more important than ever to discuss the importance of going solar and creating green jobs. We’ve been hearing a lot of buzz in the media about ‘green jobs’ and many are wondering when we will start seeing […]


Arizona is making the grade and freeing the grid!

The report “Freeing the Grid”, released by solar energy advocates Vote Solar Initiative, Interstate Renewable Energy Council, the Solar Alliance, and the Network for New Energy Choices, gave their 2009 assessment for each states’ net metering practices. Our sun-drenched state earned an A for its net metering policies, which is a nice improvement from the […]


What exactly is net metering?

One of the exciting aspects of going solar is that your home becomes its own mini power plant. When you make the switch to solar electricity (PV), your utility company will switch out your current meter with a NET meter. The NET meter keeps track of the amount of energy your PV system sends back […]


How Big is Your Water Footprint?

As many of us know carbon (CO2) is one of the leading contributors of global climate change; however, when we talk about energy use and our ‘carbon footprint’ we may also want to think about our ‘water footprint’. Water and energy are not only precious natural resources, they also have an intertwined relationship. In order […]