Electric bill sticker shock prompts Valley mom to take action

Posted at 6:03 PM, Aug 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-02 09:49:00-04

It won't surprise Valley residents, but July and August are peak months when utility companies see the highest electricity usage.  

Narrow that even farther, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. is considered the "rush hour" on the utility highway.

RELATED: 5 ways to save big on air conditioning

Gilbert mom, Aprilee Pena learned the tough lesson after getting a $400 electric bill after a steamy July.

"I was like, 'Oh my gosh.' it was a lot of money. I hadn't budgeted for that amount," said Pena.

She spoke to a customer service representative from SRP, and enrolled in a "time of use" price plan. She also started shutting off major appliances and limiting electricity use during the hours of 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

"I don't run the dishwasher, don't do the laundry. I'll use the crockpot for cooking, or cook after 6 o'clock," said Pena.

SRP spokeswoman Kathleen Mascarenas said price plans were a good option for customers looking to see some savings. It all boiled down to supply and demand.

"Kind of like you stay off the highway during rush hour.  With these price plans you limit your energy usage during the busiest time of day, when everyone else is using energy," said Mascarenas.

Pena said it made a big difference in her bill.

"Huge. This year already I've saved $300." 

SRP officials recommended pre-cooling your home during non-peak hours, then raising the thermostat during peak hours. Officials also recommend getting a home energy assessment.

"Just like you get an annual check-up on your body, you want to get an annual check-up on your house. Make sure everything is running smoothly," said Mascarenas.

The home energy assessment costs $99, but after the visit, all participants will receive five light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and one toilet tank bank.

SRP officials also recommended running major appliances, like pool pumps, at night, during non-peak hours.

You can also receive rebates for items like sun shades through SRP.