Tucson, Ariz. – As extreme temperatures drive up energy demand throughout the southwest, UniSource Energy Services reminds customers that conservation contributes to lower electric bills both now and in the future.
Like other energy providers, UniSource pays a premium for power purchased to meet customers’ summer peak energy needs. During long-lasting regional heat waves, when resources are constrained, the cost of purchased energy can increase by 3-5 times normal rates, or more. These higher prices lead to higher bills over the long term as energy costs are passed along to customers.
Higher temperatures also force air conditioners to run longer, driving up bills in the short term. Customers who keep the same thermostat setting when outside temperatures rise will end up paying higher bills, as their AC systems are working harder to maintain that same comfort level.
Here are a few ways to manage your energy use:
- Use shades and blinds to block out the midday and afternoon sun, reducing radiant heat entering your home.
- Set your thermostat to a higher temperature. For each degree you raise the temperature, you may be able to reduce energy usage by 10 percent or more.
- Use ceiling or oscillating fans to keep air moving so you feel cooler without increasing air conditioner use.
- Change the air filter in your air conditioning system monthly or as recommended by the manufacturer to prevent it from becoming clogged with heavy use.
- Consider planting a shade tree near your home, giving your air conditioner a tune-up or participating in another UniSource energy efficiency program for electric customers that can help you to reduce energy usage.
UniSource has more energy-saving ideas for customers and also offers a variety of programs and resources to help customers pay their monthly bill.
- With our Customer Assistance Residential Energy Support (CARES) program, low-income residential electric customers may qualify for an $16 monthly discount.
- UniSource also works with several community agencies through our Short-term Bill Payment Assistance program to offer emergency bill payment assistance to customers.
- With our Safety Net program, customers can designate a family member, friend or community agency representative to help them stay on top of their bills.
UniSource provides electric service to more than 101,000 customers in Mohave and Santa Cruz counties. It also provides natural gas service to more than 167,000 customers in northern and southern Arizona. UniSource and its parent company, UNS Energy, are subsidiaries of Fortis, Inc. (TSX/NYSE: FTS), which owns utilities that serve more than 3 million customers across Canada and in the United States and the Caribbean.
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