Not using A/C in Phoenix

I’m paying the price for relying on a swamp cooler instead of using my A/C.

I don’t make a lot of money so summertime in Phoenix, Arizona is the worst time of the year for me because of expensive electric bills. When you turn on your air conditioning you can expect to have an electric bill in the neighborhood of $200-$300 a month. That’s a lot of money but electricity is something you can’t really live without.

If you’ve never been to Phoenix this time a year you should know it really sucks because it’s monsoon season. Not only do you get heat around 110° you get humanity. The old “but it’s a dry heat” argument doesn’t really apply this time of year.

The weather in Phoenix, Arizona this week.

Money is been tight this year and my wife and I came to the decision to try to make it through an Arizona summer without using our air conditioner. We did use it the week we hit 120° but have had it off since. We are relying on an old-fashioned swamp cooler to cool our house and to be honest, I’m melting. The temperature inside our home most afternoons is in the low 90s.

As a kid, I remember being outside a lot in the summertime and the heat not really bothering me. My family when we were not at my dad’s automotive shop survived at home with a single ceiling fan and a swamp cooler. I have no idea how I was able to adapt to that weather back then.

Hopefully, we can survive without using the air conditioner this summer or if we have to turn it on we do so on a limited basis so that it does not break our budget.

In the past when we had issues being able to afford to pay our summertime electric bill we would pay a late and play catch up on it for a few months as the weather cooled off. The neighborhood we moved into a few years ago is an SRP neighborhood and uses something called SRP M-Power. This is a meter you have to prepay for your electricity at a grocery store kiosk via an Electric ATM-style card and then you insert it into a reader they give you to put in your home.

This effectively eliminated our ability to pay our electricity bills late. Once your meter hits zero your power turns off automatically. SRP however, will help you if there is an excessive warning issued by the National Weather Service for the Phoenix, Arizona area and you’re out of energy. They will assist you in restoring power during the heat emergency if you call them at 602-236-8888 but once the emergency is over so is your power grace period.

Anyway, I hope this is not a crazy idea and something me and my family can survive this summer.

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