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HOW TO USE LESS ELECTRICITY THIS SUMMER

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Summer is almost here, and you’re probably already dreading your hot-weather electric bills. So you have resolved to live at 80 degrees 24 hours a day to keep AC use down. You’re planning to grill dinner outside every night so the range doesn’t heat up the house. And you’re switching as many light bulbs as you can to energy-saving CFLs and LEDs.

But one more important change can take some pain out of your utility prices, an alternative that people often do not consider when they move to Arizona and sign up for electric service. What’s the secret? Choose what is called a “usage” or “time-of-day” or “time-of-use” pricing plan.

How many homes have these plans? According to SRP (Salt River Project), which has about 882,000 residential electric customers, of which almost 242,000, or about 27 percent of households, have enrolled in these plans. APS (Arizona Public Service), on the other hand, has about 1.02 million residential customers, of which about 528,000, or more than 51 percent, are in these plans. So plenty of residents out there could make the change and probably save money.

Why doesn’t everyone enroll? We don’t want to speculate too much, but many may be unaware of the plans or confused about them even though utilities try to educate customers about their options. Some may be just too busy to think about doing the research.

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