The extreme heat is almost here, and keeping the AC running can be the difference between life and death.

If you or a loved one is nervous about what that means about your bill, energy companies are going to temporarily hold off shutting off electricity to delinquent customers once we hit those deadly hot days.

Power companies say if you're late on paying your bill, get that taken care of as soon as possible. But if you are facing having the lights shut off, they're not just going to let you sit in a hot home.

It's the rules.

"Many states have that for cold weather in the north, and we have it for hot weather," said Jim Wontor, APS Energy Efficiency Manager

If you're behind on payments, you've probably already received numerous alerts by phone, by mail and on your front door letting you know you'll soon be in the dark.

But come next week, when it could reach 120 degrees, you'll get a pass.

Both APS and SRP say they do not disconnect power to customers on days the National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings.

"But really, if customers are behind on their bill, we encourage them to contact us, we can talk through that with them, and possibly put them on a payment arrangement to help them make those payments," said Wontor.

If you’re having trouble paying your bill, APS has some recommendations for keeping your energy use to a minimum while still keeping your AC on.

“Things like turning off unnecessary lights in the house that don’t need to be on, in the room that they’re in they can run the ceiling fan. That’ll keep them cool so they don’t have to run the air conditioning as much,” said Wontor.

If you or a loved one currently has their power shut off, APS says as soon as that bill gets paid, the electricity clicks back on immediately.

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