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Summer preparedness: APS Crews Ready to Respond, Tips for Customers

From heat to storms to wildfires, have an emergency plan, supplies handy

PHOENIX – As Arizonans experience the first heat wave of 2024, meteorologists are predicting a normal to below normal monsoon season with increased wildfire risk this summer. No matter what Mother Nature brings, crews are ready to respond, and APS has adequate power supply to reliably serve customers.

 

“APS crews prepare for summer year-round, performing maintenance and upgrades to keep the electrical system running strong. Being ready takes a team of employees utilizing bucket trucks and helicopters, deploying technology like drones and robots, analyzing data and engineering solutions. And when outages occur crews are ready to respond in often challenging conditions,” said Mackenzie Rodgers, APS Senior Director of Operations and Maintenance. “Just as we focus on safety with our employees, we encourage everyone to be safe this summer, whether that’s preparing in advance for summer emergencies, staying hydrated or checking on vulnerable family members and neighbors.”

 

Arizona’s official monsoon season is June 15 - Sept. 30. With 2024 monsoon predictions, summer heat and wildfire risk coupled with the wet winter causing overgrowth in vegetation, APS employees have taken proactive measures and are ready to respond:

 

Monsoon Preparedness and Storm Response

  • Meteorologists will track conditions that may trigger extreme winds, lightning, rain and flooding.
  • Field crews will stage resources and equipment ahead of a storm and, once safe to do so, clean up debris and make repairs.
  • Grid operators will reroute power around issues to restore as many customers as possible.

 

Wildfire Prevention and Response

  • Field crews cleared dry brush and grass from about 40,000 power poles this year.
  • Meteorologists are utilizing resources like new weather stations, fire monitoring cameras and innovative modeling technology to monitor wildfires.
  • Fire mitigation experts with forestry and hotshot crew experience are collaborating with fire authorities and first responder agencies on emergency response plans. 

 

Heat Waves and Power Supply

  • Resource planners look years ahead to predict customers’ electricity needs and plan for adequate resources to maintain affordable and reliable service.
  • Energy market traders and the long-term procurement team secure diverse energy resources from solar, wind and nuclear power to flexible natural gas and energy storage.
  • APS keeps a backup power supply as an added layer of protection for unforeseen events.

 

Safety and Energy-Saving Tips for APS Customers

Before an emergency, APS customers can take steps at home to protect people and property:

  • Remove overgrown vegetation, trash or debris around your property to prevent them from blowing into electrical equipment or fueling fires.
  • Pack an emergency supply kit. Include non-perishable foods, a can-opener, water, a first-aid kit, a battery-operated radio, flashlights, extra batteries, a portable phone charger and medication.
  • Make a family emergency plan. Write down important phone numbers for medical providers, family, friends and APS. Identify a cool location you can visit during an outage to stay comfortable and safe, such as a family member’s home outside of your neighborhood.
  • Alert APS if you use life-supporting medical equipment that requires electricity, call 602-371-7171 to register for our Medical Care Program.
  • Ensure your contact information with APS is up to date. Sign in to your aps.com account or call the APS Customer Care Center at (602) 371-7171 to update your email, text and phone numbers so APS can reach you in the event of an outage.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage. Objects found in backyards, like umbrellas, kiddie pools, tarps and trampolines, can end up in power lines, causing outages.
  • Stay at least 100 feet away from a downed power line, call 911 and then call APS.

 

During these hot summer months, customers can manage electricity bills with these simple tips:

  • Pre-cool your home during off peak hours and stay comfortable while saving money if you are on a Time-of-Use 4-7pm Weekdays or Time-of-Use 4-7 pm Weekdays with Demand Charge plan.
  • Think 1, 2, 3. Turn thermostats up a few degrees. For every one degree you raise your thermostat, you can save 2-3 percent on energy cooling costs. 
  • Keep the heat out. Close curtains and blinds. Outside your windows, use shade screens or plants and trees to stop heat from getting inside. 
  • Use ceiling fans. Ensure ceiling fans are set counter-clockwise in summer. While fans can make people feel up to five degrees cooler, they don’t cool rooms. Turn them off when you leave. 

 

Qualifying APS customers can access a range of support programs such as crisis bill assistance, flexible energy-use plans, monthly bill discounts, Budget Billing and extended payment options. APS will not disconnect residential customers because of past due bills, or charge late fees, from June 1 through Oct. 15, 2024. Customers will continue to receive monthly energy bills and are encouraged to reach out if they need additional assistance to prevent balances from building. Visit aps.com/assistance.

 

APS Crews clean up after a storm

 

APS serves approximately 1.4 million homes and businesses in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties, and is a leader in delivering reliable, affordable, and clean energy in the Southwest. The company is committed to serving customers with 100% clean power by 2050. As owner and operator of Palo Verde Generating Station, one of the nation’s largest producers of carbon-free electricity, and with one of the country’s most substantial renewable energy portfolios, APS’s current energy mix is 51% clean. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).



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