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Residential Utility Bills Increase As More Arizonans Stay Home This Summer

Utilities in Arizona annually prepare for the hot summer months, but more people are staying home this summer. And increased demand has resulted in higher residential utility bills.  

Utility prices are usually more expensive in the summer. But this year residents are dealing with one of the driest monsoon seasons in the state and a pandemic on top of record breaking temperatures. 

In response to COVID-19, both APS and SRP have come out with their own payment options for customers affected by the pandemic.  

Patty Likens, an SRP spokesperson, said SRP is working with customers on an individual basis.

“If customers with past due electric bills have not called to set up any kind of payment arrangement by Oct. 1, we will place them on a payment plan to help spread out that payment of their total balance," said Likens.

APS spokesperson Alan Bunnell says residential utility sales have increased 4% during the pandemic, but it’s the heat that is the contributing factor for residential usage, specifically how hot it stays in the evenings. 

“We’ve already broken the record for the number of days that it stays at 90 degrees as the lowest temperature overnight," said Bunnell.

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Alexandria Krusniak is a summer news intern for KJZZ. She will be a senior at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She is minoring in political science and digital audiences, and plans to graduate in 2021.Krusniak began her radio journey as a freshman at ASU’s student-run Blaze Radio and worked in the news, music and sports departments as an anchor, reporter, host and DJ. She will serve as Blaze's program director her senior year.Krusniak was born and raised in Phoenix, and is interested in sustainability and education.In her free time, you can find her exploring the Arizona outdoors on the hiking and running trails, or in Flagstaff skiing on the slopes when the weather allows.