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Extreme heat spikes APS customers' energy use
APS shares tips for staying safe and comfortable
PHOENIX – With Metro Phoenix temperatures soaring to 116 degrees this week, APS customer demand reached 7,320 megawatts (MW) on Tuesday – setting the peak for the most electricity used at the same time so far in 2018. APS's overall record peak demand of 7,363 MW was set on June 20, 2017.
For each of the first three days this week, APS customers used about twice as much energy as they do on an average winter day. APS's plans for maintaining reliable service in the high heat of summer include forecasting customer needs to ensure enough electricity is available on the hottest days when customers need it most.
It also is important for customers to have their own plans for staying safe during the extreme heat of Arizona summers. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS), nearly 2,000 people visit Arizona emergency rooms each year because of heat-related illnesses. APS is urging Arizonans to take extra precautions this summer:
• Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
• Know the additional risks of dehydration from being outside in the heat and the warning signs of heat stroke.
• Regularly check on the elderly, young children and pets.
• Stay inside in air conditioning whether at home or in public places that are air-conditioned like libraries, shopping malls and movie theatres.
• Be aware that feeling cold indoors can be deceiving, especially for the elderly. Seniors often don’t realize when they are overheated, dehydrated and in danger. Their bodies’ ability to regulate temperature can be different, causing them to catch a chill more easily and reach for a sweater or even turn off their air conditioning despite extreme summer temperatures outdoors. If a loved one complains of the cold inside, turn up the thermostat only to a safe temperature and try to seat them away from the direct flow of air vents.
• Visit the AZDHS website for resources on how to recognize, prevent and treat heat-related illness, including specific information toolkits for older adults, outdoor workers and schools.
Customers don't need to compromise staying cool and comfortable to manage their electric bills; there are many ways to save.
• Close curtains and blinds during the day.
• Service your air conditioner annually to ensure it operates efficiently.
• Turn your thermostat up a few degrees. For every one degree you raise your thermostat, you can save 2-3 percent on energy cooling costs. (When on vacation, turn it up a few more.)
• Use fans to feel up to 5 degrees cooler. Set your ceiling fans to run counter-clockwise to help cool rooms, but remember to turn them off when leaving the room.
• Switch from incandescent light bulbs to LED lighting. Not only will you save money, but LED lights produce much less heat.
• Consider adding shade screens to your windows.
• Add shade trees to the perimeter of your home – especially on the west side – to help block the sun’s heat.
• Limit use of your oven; try using the microwave instead.
• Turn off unnecessary lights and appliances.
• Change your air filters monthly to improve the performance and efficiency of your air conditioner.
• Use the APS mobile app and aps.com to monitor and manage energy use and to get more energy-saving tips customized to your service plan.
APS serves about 2.7 million people in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties, and is the Southwest’s foremost producer of clean, safe and reliable electricity. Using a balanced energy mix that is 50 percent carbon-free, APS has one of the country’s cleanest energy portfolios, including both Palo Verde Generating Station and renewable energy. The company is also a proven leader in introducing technology and services that offer customers choice and control over their energy consumption. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).