Originally published Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 07:36p.m.

TUCSON – Hot summer weather will drive electric bills higher, though the increase will be mitigated by a temporary energy cost credit for UniSource electric customers.

That’s why UniSource Energy Services is offering easy energy-saving tips just in time for summer.

Air conditioners and other home cooling systems typically use more energy as temperatures rise, working harder to maintain indoor temperatures even if the thermostat is left untouched all summer long.

Although summer thunderstorms may bring some relief from the afternoon heat, increased humidity can drive energy bills even higher.

Electric customers can follow these tips to help reduce their summertime cooling costs.

• Adjust your thermostat. Start at 78 degrees, then adjust to the highest comfortable summertime temperature. Every degree you raise your thermostat can reduce your overall energy costs by about 2-3 percent.

• Check your air conditioner. Have your central air conditioning system tuned up to make sure it will operate as efficiently as possible during the summer. Dirty or clogged filters restrict airflow and will make your cooling system work harder and use more energy.

• Keep windows and doors closed and covered. Keep exterior doors and windows closed tightly and close window coverings in the morning before it gets hot. Installing thermal blinds or draperies can reduce radiant heat in your home. Also, caulk or install weather stripping around windows and doors to keep out hot air and keep in cool air.

• Become a fan of fans. Use ceiling or oscillating fans to keep air moving so you feel cooler without increasing air conditioner use.

You can find more energy-saving tips at uesaz.com/residential-energy-saving-tips.

Electric customers can learn more about their energy use by reviewing their monthly, daily and hourly electric usage and energy demand on UniSource’s website and mobile applications. Customers on time-of-use or demand pricing plans can use this information to make changes that can help to reduce their monthly energy expenses even if their overall usage remains the same.

Temporary credit to give typical customer $20 discount

A temporary credit tied to reduced natural gas and power prices will provide some bill relief for UniSource electric customers this summer.

The credit, approved last month by the Arizona Corporation Commission, will be applied to electric bills from June 1 to Sept. 30. It is expected to reduce the bills of typical residential customers by $21.56 per month, on average, or nearly 18%.

The credit will be applied to the bills of all electric customers – residential and commercial – generating savings that will vary with usage. The average impact described above is based on average residential usage of 1,166 kWh per month from June through September.

Information provided by UniSource Energy Services