How to keep your electric bill down as temps rise

(Source: KOLD News 13)
(Source: KOLD News 13)
Updated: May. 30, 2018 at 6:19 AM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Summer has arrived and that means your electricity bill is going to increase.

Organizations in southern Arizona that help folks with utility payments have been busy with calls. Caroline Foote, from Green Valley, was one of those callers in desperate need after finding herself in a bind.

Her husband had a stroke a couple of months ago and has been unable to work. The mother of one was left to run the household and has been picking up extra shifts.

When she received her electricity bill this month, she was faced with a tough question – put food on the table or have air conditioning.

Luckily, the folks at the local chapter of PPEP, which stands for Portable Practical Educational Preparation, stepped in to help.

MORE: Organizations that offer utility assistance | Tips from TEP 

"This is the first time in a long time that I've been in a bind like this with the electric," Foote said. "Generally, you know, even if I can't pay off the whole bill I can continue to make payments or what have you and things are just kind of catching up."

She said she's thankful to have an organization like PPEP to fall back on during difficult times.

"You have to have air, you have to have lights especially when you have a child in the home and you have someone in the home that's disabled. … This is a blessing," she said.

Here are some ways you can lower you're A/C usage to save some cash during the summer months.

  1. Household temperature: TEP suggests you keep your thermostat to the highest temperature you are comfortable with. Experts recommend 78 degrees. To further increase your savings, increase the temperature even more when you are away from home.
  2. Filter, filter, filter: Do not forget to change your air filter every month. TEP recommends doing so every time you receive your bill as a reminder.
  3. Keep air in: Remember to be cautious about shutting your doors and windows when your A/C is running. Also, apply weather stripping or caulking around your doors and windows.
  4. Natural shade: Planting trees and shrubs will help keep your home shaded meaning your A/C doesn’t have to run as hard to cool off your home.

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