Big bill! Here's how much it costs to cool large Valley buildings

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It's almost summer and your electric bills are likely climbing as fast as our temperatures. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) It's almost summer and your electric bills are likely climbing as fast as our temperatures. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
ASU's AC system is strong enough to cool around 6,000 homes at 78 degrees. And yes, ASU’s energy costs a pretty penny! (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) ASU's AC system is strong enough to cool around 6,000 homes at 78 degrees. And yes, ASU’s energy costs a pretty penny! (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
At Chase Field summer can be pricey too. In August, the average daily cost for power is around $12,000 a day. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) At Chase Field summer can be pricey too. In August, the average daily cost for power is around $12,000 a day. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

It's almost summer and your electric bills are likely climbing as fast as our temperatures. 

This is the hottest week of the year so far and on any given street, the hum of air conditioners is now the soundtrack to the summer.

And on ASU's Tempe campus, that hum is more of a roar at the central plant.

Facility Management Executive Director Alex Kohnen helps keep every building cool with a chilled water system that snakes through 5 miles of tunnels underground.

This system is strong enough to cool around 6,000 homes at 78 degrees. And yes, ASU’s energy costs a pretty penny!

Last year, the bill was $1 million in August with air conditioning making up the bulk of it.

“We’re operating class here from about 7 in the morning to 11 at night,” Kohnen said. “You can imagine trying to be in a classroom when it’s 120 degrees how a student would learn, so we don’t have much of a choice.”

At Chase Field summer can be pricey too. In August, the average daily cost for power is around $12,000 a day. Most of that cost is to cool the nearly 50,000 seats in the stadium.

Summer events keep the power on at University of Phoenix Stadium where the average monthly energy bill during summer months is around $250,000, according to data provided by the stadium. Wow!

Whether it’s a home, stadium or campus, as much as we may hate the bills, it is part of life living in the desert!

“A cardinal sin is to lose air conditioning in Phoenix in August, Kohnen said. We just can’t afford to do that.”

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Ian SchwartzAn Arizona native, born and raised in Mesa, and graduation of Arizona State University, Ian Schwartz is thrilled to be back in the Valley of the Sun.

Click to learn more about Ian.

Ian Schwartz
Wake Up Meteorologist

After starting his journalism career in Illinois, Ian worked in Albuquerque and later Sacramento. In the field as a reporter, he has covered flash floods, blizzards, tornadoes, wildfires, drought and just about everything the weather can offer. After spending some time reporting, Ian decided to further his education and completed Mississippi State's broadcast meteorology program. Ian loves everything about Arizona weather from winter storms in the north to the monsoon in the south. When Ian isn't giving you the forecast in the morning, you can find him hiking, traveling and exploring everything our great state has to offer. If you have any weather pictures or want to say hi, drop him an email or connect online.

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