Arizona summers can be strenuous for the wallet and our electric grid. This year, the City of Mesa encourages electric customers to be smart about energy consumption as the southwest region faces unprecedented market conditions that could affect the supply and billing rates.
"We are working to reduce peak electrical usage at City facilities while developing programs for our customers to save energy and money while reducing demand during the peak hours of the day," said Frank McRae, Energy Resources Director.
Mesa does not own or operate any electric generators and purchases its electric supply through various short and long-term agreements. However, this year supply costs have increased dramatically due to the region's population growth and energy usage and the transition to newer and cleaner energy production. City of Mesa Electric Utility customers within the City's Service Territory can help reduce the impact by lowering energy consumption during peak hours of 3 p.m. - 8 p.m.
"In the Southwest we are facing some of the hottest temperatures on record, which leads to increased demand on the utility systems and rising costs from our suppliers. Energy conservation not only lowers our utility costs, but it also creates a more healthy, sustainable environment for everyone. Even the smallest change can lead to lasting benefits for everyone!" said Jenn Duff, Vice Mayor.
Mesa Energy Resources is taking several steps to ease the impact of higher demand on the power grid.
There are several ways you can save energy and money at home during extreme summer heat:
Adjust your thermostat - During summer peak hours or when you are not home, set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher. Setting your air conditioner five degrees higher can save up to 20 percent on cooling costs.
Adjust temperature with ceiling fans - During the summer, using your ceiling fan while your air conditioner is on allows you to raise your thermostat about four degrees and experience the same level of comfort.
Close windows and doors - Keep windows and doors closed to prevent the loss of cooled air.
Smart energy use - Turn off unnecessary lighting and use task or desktop lamps with LEDs instead of overhead lights. Turn off computers when not in use. Unplug phone chargers, power strips (those without a switch) and other equipment when not in use. Together, these small items can use as much power as your refrigerator.
Major appliance use - Postpone using heat-producing appliances like the oven, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer until cooler times of the day. Wait until after 9 p.m. to use these and other major appliances.
Clean or replace filters - A dirty filter forces your air conditioner to work harder, wasting money and energy.
The City is seeking funding through federal programs and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to assist residents who may need financial help paying electric bills.
Mesa also has a Summer Electric Assistance (SEA) Program, offering residential utility assistance in July, August and September for income-qualified customers receiving their electric service directly from the City. If you are eligible, complete and submit the SEA application form (Espanol application form) and email to email@example.com.
For more information, visit www.mesaaz.gov/energy.
Contact: Kevin Christopher