Tucson Electric Power (TEP) is the principal subsidiary of UniSource Energy (NYSE: UNS), serving more than 400,000 customers in Southern Arizona. As TEP enters its third century of operations, the company continues to find innovative ways to provide reliability, service and value to customers and the community. As such, TEP sought a software system to help address the company’s complex regulatory environmental requirements systematically.
“Our industry is heavily regulated and it’s a constant challenge to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks,” said Reland Kane, Environmental Superintendent for Tucson Electric Power. “We needed an environmental solution in which we could program the necessary tasks and alarm triggers to keep us not only in compliance, but ahead of the curve. TEP initially wanted a homegrown system, but after evaluating Enviance – and its competitors – nothing could match Enviance’s configurability.”
Since deploying the Enviance Environmental Enterprise Resource Planning (EERP) System, Enviance has eliminated the need for paperwork and nearly everything the TEP environmental team does is in the Enviance System. TEP routinely uses Enviance at two generation stations for all media programs, permits and plans, data collections and inspections. TEP plans to expand its Enviance use to all of the company’s generation stations, which includes four manned and two unmanned stations. In addition, TEP eventually wants to use Enviance for its Environmental Management System (EMS) capabilities across all media, as well as its 21 plans and permits. In fact, TEP is in the process of rolling out Enviance’s Permit Management capabilities within its organization.
“Enviance is no more complicated than Excel, yet provides much more reliable and comprehensive data warehousing and reporting functionality,” said Kane. “We love Enviance’s ability to report out and see all of our emissions factors. In addition, Enviance enables TEP to document why we don’t fall under certain regulations. Auditors want synopses of things like SPCC trainings. Without Enviance, documentation would be nearly impossible.”
The Enviance Environmental ERP System has also proved helpful with TEP’s inspections. As an example, TEP was able to send an email to one of its substations when Enviance identified a leaky valve, and copy it directly into its SPCC inspection form. In addition, Enviance has enabled TEP to achieve significant success with regulatory inspectors on-site. TEP can immediately provide inspectors with comprehensive reports or show them the information stored in the Enviance System during the inspection records review. Inspectors are not only satisfied, but impressed with the data TEP has housed in Enviance. Because TEP can demonstrate that it is effectively and comprehensively managing its environmental program, most inspectors feel a cursory walk-down of the facility is all that is necessary to complete the inspection. In fact, TEP is in the process of deploying the Enviance Mobile Application to further help them with their rounds.
“Two key benefits to Enviance are that it’s web-based, which means it can be accessed anywhere, and that it supports reporting using Excel templates in macros, which is important to TEP,” said Kane. “We continue to be impressed by Enviance’s capabilities – the more our needs expand and change, the more configurable it becomes. Enviance is the center of TEP’s environmental activities.”