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Heat Moratoriums & Excessive Heat Warnings Explained

Summers in Arizona are notoriously hot, and while Arizona residents can expect triple-digit temperatures during the summer months, sometimes the weather can become extreme.   

In order to keep our customers safe during these extreme temperatures, we partner with the National Weather Service (NWS) and rely on their weather expertise to alert us of upcoming excessive heat events.  

What is an Excessive Heat Warning? 

Today, we use weather data provided by the NWS to determine when we need to pause disconnections when an Excessive Heat Warning is called in order to keep our customers safe.  

According to the NWS, an Excessive Heat Warning is issued when there is high forecast confidence of a high or very high risk of heat-related illness based on the HeatRisk forecast product. Since our bodies seasonally acclimate to weather conditions, temperature thresholds for Excessive Heat Warnings are higher during the summer than during late spring and early fall.   

That means we could be experiencing triple-digit heat, something we are very familiar with in Arizona, and not be in an Excessive Heat Warning.  

How do I know if an Excessive Heat Warning is in effect? 

You can always check the status of an Excessive Heat Warning by visiting the NWS website. You can also enroll in alerts and reminders to receive a text or email when an Excessive Heat Warning starts and ends.  

How many heat moratoriums should I expect? 

The number of Excessive Heat Warnings can vary from summer to summer. Factors such as limited rain during the monsoon season can impact heat relief in the Valley. During the monsoon season, forecasting the number of consecutive days with conditions supporting high or very high risk of heat-related illness is challenging because of cooling from rainfall and cloud cover. 

Following each summer, SRP meteorologists review the monsoon season, placing the weather events in the context of what is expected with climate change and urbanization. This is an important step toward understanding what we can expect of heat risk conditions moving forward.  

How does SRP handle heat moratoriums? 

Anytime the National Weather Service issues an Excessive Heat Warning, SRP will not disconnect power.

This applies to all residential customers across all price plans, as well as customers on the SRP M-Power® price plan. If we are in a heat moratorium and money has run out on your SRP M-Power box, the box will alert you of your balance as usual, but your power will remain on.  

It is important to note that customers will continue to be charged and accumulate a balance for power that is used during a heat moratorium.

At the end of the heat moratorium, SRP M-Power customers will need to make a purchase to cover any accumulated debt to avoid disconnection following friendly credit hours. We recommend making purchases as usual during heat moratoriums to avoid accumulating high debt. 

Note: When you sign up for Heat Warning text and email notifications, we’ll let you know when we expect normal SRP M-Power operations to resume. This way, you can ensure that you have a positive balance before normal operations resume and can avoid disconnection. 

Avoid extended call waiting times coming out of heat moratoriums by making regular purchases online, through the app or at one of our 500+ in-person payment locations. 

Although the National Weather Service can start and end Excessive Heat Warnings at any time, SRP will not resume regular disconnections on the weekends or during friendly credit hours between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.   

You can always view your current balance by logging in to SRP My Account™ online or through the SRP Power and SRP M-Power mobile apps. Additionally, the box display will show your current balance.  

How you can prepare for summer 

We know how important it is for our customers to have power, especially during the extreme heat of Arizona’s summers. We offer a variety of programs and resources that you can enroll in today to be prepared for tomorrow. 

These support programs include: 

  • The Economy Price Plan: A $23 monthly bill credit available to customers with limited incomes. 
  • The SRP Safety Net program: Sign up a friend or family member to be alerted if your bill becomes past due. 
  • The SRP Medical Preparedness Program: Enroll to receive notifications of planned outages to determine if you can remain at your home or need to seek temporary accommodations elsewhere. 
  • SRP Customer Resource Counseling: Call us 24/7 at (602) 236-8888 for immediate assistance with your bill, including extensions and advances.  

In addition to these programs, we have a number of tips for saving energy and money on your summer electricity bills. 

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