Two Phoenix area electric utilities cutoff power to more homes in June of this year than in June of 2008.
Hard economic times and higher rates led consumers to fall behind in their bills. APS raised average household monthly rates about $4.50 in December, and SRP raised its average bill about $4.70 in October.
Salt River Project and Arizona Public Service pulled the plug on 11,368 homes in June, compared with 7,396 customers in the same month last year.
The utilities say they disconnected more people this year than last June because there were six to seven extremely hot days in 2008 when they didn’t cut people off to protect customers’ health.
Arizona Community Action Association executive director Cynthia Zwick says when electric rates increase during a down economy, families are negatively impacted and bills don’t get paid.