El Paso

High temperatures mean higher electric costs in the Borderland

Summer means rising electric bills

EL PASO, Texas - As temperatures rise in the Borderland, so do electric bills. 

"My electric bill goes up to $80 or $100 when in the winter it's maybe $40," said El Paso resident Doris Sandoval. 

"During the winter [I pay] $125. During the summer, about $275," said another resident, Randy Friedman. 

Eddie Gutierrez, a spokesperson from the El Paso Electric Company, says that the average summer electric bill is around $100 to $125. In the winter, the average bill is around $80. 

"The last 17 of 18 seasons we see more usage increasing," he said, "partly because our customers are growing in our community, and we're using more energy." 

Over the past five years, the company's customer base has grown nearly 8 percent. 

More demand in the summer can lead to more outages. Plus, as more people swap out swamp coolers for refrigerated air, more electricity is required.

"The top two areas related to outages are outages related to weather or actually accidents and those sort of unrelated things," Gutierrez said. 

According to Gutierrez, the average medium-sized home uses about a third more energy during the summer. 

To cut down costs, he suggests closing window blinds to prevent the sun from heating up a room as well as turning your thermostat to 78 degrees when leaving your home. You can also turn it off completely. 

"In the afternoon, if perhaps you're doing kind of heavy lifting, perhaps cleaning and cooking," Gutierrez said, "[try] doing that after hours when it's not as hot." 

Last year, El Paso had 46 days when temperatures rose above 100 degrees. This year, El Paso has had 3 days above 100 degrees, with summer just getting started. 




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