SRP customers set new record for usage during 2012 record heat

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- It's a fact. You don't have people in Phoenix in August without having air conditioning.

"You have to keep it on constantly in order not to bake," said Tawny Wilson. "Either that or you're going to bake outside or bake in your house...either one!"

Wilson says she's cranked her air. Biting that bullet means big electricity bills and a lot of demand to keep the cool coming.

So much so that Wednesday, SRP set a new record for usage, with more megawatts than the last record, summer of 2006.

"Record temperatures means our customers are using the most power that we've ever delivered in our system ever," said SRP spokesman Jeff Lane.

In fact, SRP says on days like Wednesday, the Valley uses more electricity than New York City!

"Phoenix? Okay, that actually really kind of floors me a little," said Wilson.

It's true - which is why power outages this time of year can be disastrous. Many remember last summer's outage in Mesa, caused by a transformer fire, that left people sweating it out for several days. Those memories motivate staff at the power companies to be one step ahead by planning for the worst.

"Not only do we plan to meet that need, but always have a margin above that so in case something does occur, to maybe a transformer or another piece of equipment, that we still have the resources available to provide the necessary electricity," said Steven Gotfried with APS.

All so you can make the best of summer in the Valley of the Sun.