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During record summer heat, APS customers broke records for power usage

Valley temperatures soared to record highs during the summer, with little relief until recently.

A local utility says the heat wave resulted in new benchmarks for power usage as well.

Arizona Public Service reported new highs for energy use during the summer, and with the record breaking temperatures in the rear view mirror, it has already begun to plan for how to meet next year’s peak demand.

Some customers helped the utility get through the heat wave by using smart thermostats and other conservation measures.

Yessica del Rincon of APS said the company was able to provide about half of its power with carbon neutral sources.

"We have solar power in our toolbox, we have battery energy storage, and we also have the Palo Verde Generating Station, which is actually one of the largest producers of clean and carbon free energy in the country," she said.

She said the Valley’s growing population remains a major challenge for the utility.

Ron Dungan has lived in Arizona for more than 35 years. He has worked as a reporter, construction worker, copy editor, designer and freelance writer. He's a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the undergraduate Writers’ Workshop, and has a master’s in history from Arizona State University.Dungan was an outdoors reporter and member of the storyteller team at the Arizona Republic, where he won several awards, and was a contributor on a border project that won the 2018 Pulitzer for explanatory reporting.When not working, Dungan enjoys books, gardening, hanging out with his German shorthaired pointer, backpacking and fly-fishing. He's a fan of the Arizona Cardinals and Iowa Hawkeyes.