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Reminder of Utility Disconnection Ban and Tips to Beat the Heat in San Tan Valley

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With scorching temperatures hitting an unprecedented 118 degrees Fahrenheit in Arizona, Commissioner Lea Márquez Peterson is reminding ratepayers of the utility disconnection ban in place during extreme weather conditions. As Arizona faces a 10-day forecast of severe heat warnings, residents are urged to take precautions, utilize cooling centers, and adopt energy-saving practices.

Regulated electric utilities, including Arizona Public Service Company, Tucson Electric Power Company, and UNS Electric, Inc., are prohibited from disconnecting customers due to late payment, non-payment, or accumulated debt during periods of extreme weather.  These utilities must suspend disconnections from June 1 to October 15, or when the forecasted temperature exceeds 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

To ensure uninterrupted service and peace of mind, residents concerned about disconnection should contact their electricity providers to understand the specific disconnection policy in effect. Commissioner Márquez Peterson emphasizes the importance of seeking assistance if needed, stating, "Your safety and well-being are my top priorities during these extreme weather conditions. If you're facing difficulties with your bills, don't hesitate to reach out to your service providers, as various assistance programs are available to help eligible individuals."

The blistering heatwave is resulting in increased residential energy consumption, leading to higher energy bills for many households. The excessive use of air conditioning and the subsequent high demand for cooling are significant contributors to overall utility costs. In an effort to tackle this issue, the Arizona Corporation Commission encourages residents to take advantage of energy efficiency programs offered by their electricity providers and adopt voluntary energy conservation measures wherever possible, as even small changes can make a difference.

To help residents beat the heat and reduce energy consumption, the Commission recommends the following practical tips:

  • Keep curtains and blinds closed to minimize heat entering your home.
  • Utilize fans for cooling to reduce reliance on air conditioning.
  • Limit the use of high-energy appliances during peak hours.
  • Switch off lights and unplug appliances when not in use.
  • Regularly change HVAC filters according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Consider investing in smart thermostats and energy-efficient appliances for long-term savings.

In addition, the Arizona Emergency Network has created a comprehensive guide to coping with extreme heat, which offers further recommendations and resources. The guide can be accessed at the Arizona Emergency Network Extreme Heat Guide.

Commissioner Márquez Peterson urges all Arizona residents to stay cool, stay safe, and make an effort to voluntarily reduce energy consumption as the heat wave continues to grip the region.

It is important to note that the information provided specifically pertains to San Tan Valley residents in the APS service area. For those residing in San Tan Valley with SRP, it is recommended to reach out to SRP directly for any assistance required, as they are not regulated by the ACC and may have other policies in place.
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Sunday, 21 April 2024

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