Summer months bring higher energy bills, how companies are helping customers

Published: Aug. 9, 2023 at 6:51 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - The hot temperatures are bringing in more than just sweat and a tan. Folks across Tucson may also notice a higher energy bill during the summer months.

Day after day, Southern Arizona experienced record-breaking temperatures, especially last month. In Tucson, every day reached 100 degrees, with the average high reaching 108.4 degrees.

And, as the temperatures go up, the ACs come on, and that’s one of the biggest culprits to a higher energy bill than what you’re used to.

“We certainly did see, like we do almost every summer, bills increase during that time period,” said Eric Hawkins. Hawkins is the chief operating officer for Trico.

“People started using more air conditioning, kids are home from school, people are home during the day, everyone’s just staying inside away from the heat.”

To make customers aware of a potential increase in their energy bills, energy companies like Trico try to be proactive, sharing bill inserts and tricks on social media to let customers know of ways to save money during the hot months of the year.

These tips may save you some cash from closing the blinds to closing AC vents.

“Even the effect that just turning your air conditioning up by one or two degrees allows you to still stay comfortable, but it’s a dramatic reduction on your energy bills,” Hawkins said.

But what happens when your bill comes, and you realize you can’t afford it?

Call your energy company, and let them know what’s going on. Companies like TEP have programs and procedures in place to help out, and during the summer months, TEP will not shut off a customer’s power for non-payment.

But it also doesn’t mean forgetting about your bill completely.

“Customers should be aware that they shouldn’t simply ignore their bill,” said Joseph Barrios from TEP.

“Because we do run into situations where customers do that; they figure, well if they’re not going to disconnect my service, I don’t have to pay my bill. But they find themselves in a situation later in the year where they have a high bill that’s really difficult for them to manage.”

Other programs are in place to help customers afford energy at their homes, like low-income discounts and repayment programs.

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