Given the excessive heat warnings in effect this week, the Arizona Corporation Commission wants to remind Arizonans that during periods of extreme weather, regulated electric utilities are prohibited from disconnecting customers for reasons such as late payment, failure to pay, or carrying a bill arrearage. Under current rules regulated utilities such as Arizona Public Service Company, Tucson Electric Power Company, and UNS Electric, Inc. must choose whether to disallow disconnections between June 1 and October 15, or if the forecasted temperature is to be above 95-degrees Fahrenheit. You should contact your electricity provider to determine which method it is utilizing if you are worried about your service being shut off.
Regulated electric utilities also offer many bill assistance programs for those who qualify. The Commission encourages electric customers who are in need of bill assistance to contact their electric service provider directly to inquire about the various bill assistance options.
During periods of extreme heat, such as those we will see this week and throughout the summer months, electric utilities experience increased energy consumption as residents seek to stay cool. This can lead to higher energy bills, not just because of increased air conditioning usage, but also because the higher demand associated with cooling represents one of the largest drivers of overall utility costs. The Commission encourages all Arizonans to take advantage of available energy efficiency programs through their electric utility provider and commit to voluntary energy conservation measures wherever possible.
To help Arizonans reduce their energy consumption during the hot summer months, the following are general tips for energy conservation:
- Use fans
- Close the curtains and blinds
- Avoid using high-energy appliances during on-peak hours
- Turn off the lights and unplug appliances that are not in use
- Change your HVAC filters regularly, at least every six months
- Invest in smart thermostats and energy efficient appliances if possible
As the hot weather continues for a few more months, the Commission would like to encourage all Arizonans to stay cool and do what they can to voluntarily reduce energy consumption.