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Airline travel and more disrupted by global tech outage; Nevada gets OK to sell federal public lands for affordable housing;Science Moms work to foster meaningful talks on climate change; Scientists reconsider net-zero pledges to reach climate goals.

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As Trump accepts nomination for President, delegates emphasize themes of unity and optimism envisioning 'new golden age.' But RNC convention was marked by strong opposition to LGBTQ rights, which both opened and closed the event.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Rising AZ summer temps also mean higher energy bills

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Monday, July 1, 2024   

Summer is in full swing and as temperatures increase across the state of Arizona, so do energy bills.

Diane Brown, executive director of the Arizona Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, said Arizonans can easily cut down on their electric bills, from steps as simple as turning off lights or electronics when they are not in use, to investing in a "smart" thermostat to provide better control of a home's temperature.

Brown added people should check with their utility company to ensure they are on the best rate plan, especially if there has been a change in the number of people living under one roof.

"Often your utility can help you cut down on your monthly bill through energy efficiency discounts and rebates," Brown explained. "Helping you to assess if you're on the best rate plan for your household."

For people struggling to pay their bill, she noted utilities offer financial assistance or can point you to a nonprofit to can help. An appliance taking in one watt of electrical current at all times is equivalent to nine kilowatt-hours per year. These so-called "energy vampires" cost the average household between $100 and $200 a year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Brown pointed out cutting energy waste does not require a dramatic change in daily habits or comfort. Just closing curtains during the hottest part of the day can reduce the amount of heat entering a room by up to one-third. She added using ceiling fans to help offset air conditioning is another money-saver; and avoiding using your oven in the summer is another smart strategy.

"Using an air fryer, a slow cooker, microwave or a grill can help to reduce the amount of heat in a room," Brown emphasized. "Which will help to reduce the amount of air conditioning that is being employed, thereby saving money."

Brown acknowledged utility companies often propose raising households' monthly rates and fees. She added if you are behind on an electric bill or anticipate having a hard time paying it, contact the company or the statewide nonprofit Wildfire, to learn more about the Home Energy Assistance Fund.

Disclosure: The Arizona Public Interest Research Group Education Fund contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Consumer Issues, Energy Policy, and Urban Planning/Transportation. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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