AARP Arizona offers tips to manage high summer bills in the wake of this week’s heat. Summer months and 110-plus degree temperatures are here. A traditional time of higher electricity usage due to widespread use of air conditioning. Further, additional power demands mean that summer is a peak time where all sources of generation are needed, including utilities’ most expensive sources. The result is not only higher electricity bills for consumers – but the risk of blackouts when insufficient energy is available.
AARP wants consumers to take note of the following:
- There is a summer moratorium on disconnects in effect until October 15, 2022. This means your utility cannot disconnect you. If you are behind on your bills, however, contact them for assistance and options.
- Reduce energy consumption and increase energy efficiency: Members can reduce energy consumption by raising their thermostat to 78 degrees, installing a programmable thermostat, and replacing the air conditioning filter. Also, when purchasing new or replacement appliances, choosing the most energy-efficient model can save money in the long run. Also, new LED bulbs use less energy and don’t give off heat.
- Take advantage of rate and program options: Members can avail themselves of rate and billing options offered by their utility.
- Utilities may offer an option to enroll in a budget billing plan that spreads out higher costs over 12 months.
- Electric customers may be eligible for time-of-use plans that charge higher rates during peak periods and lower rates at other times, allowing members to shift some use to lower-cost times. This may be a good option if you are not home all day
- Special programs: Low-income customers may qualify for special rate and weatherization programs including the low-income home energy assistance program (LIHEAP).
- Better preparation for power interruptions: Have alternate light (flashlights, candles) and power sources (batteries, generator) available and ready to use. Develop a plan for emergencies, including having water, prescriptions, and non-perishable food available.
- Falling behind on your payment: It is critical that if you are falling behind on your payments to contact your energy provider to work out a payment plan that works for you.
“As Arizonans grapple with hot summer temperatures, high inflation, lost wages, and other uncertainties, they deserve to know necessities like power, will be there throughout this crisis,” said Dana Marie Kennedy, AARP AZ State Director.
For more resources and information:
- DOE maintains a list of information on how to save energy.
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.