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PHOENIX -- Summer weather is settling into the Valley, and higher power bills are likely to follow for residents.

Claire Felix, a spokeswoman for utility company Salt River Project, said customers should determine which pricing plan they're on and make changes accordingly, to save money.

Savings come with plans that limit the power usage at certain times of day.

"SRP has four different options and two of them are time- of-day options. This means people would switch usage to off-peak hours to save money. Our representatives can look at your bill and decide which plan is the best one for you and your lifestyle.

"Another option is based on income and how many people live in the home and that offers a $21 discount in the summertime. We can set up plans that coincide with when people get paid and we have budget billing, which averages out the bill for the entire year so they're paying a predictable amount so you don't have a high summer bill and low winter bill."

Summetime power bills puts the squeeze on low-income families struggling from paycheck to paycheck. Felix said there are options available to get them through the heat by calling Just call 602-236-9600.

Felix advised not waiting a $400 bill.

As for other steps to cutting the power bill, switch out light bulbs to energy-saving CFLs and LEDs, buy weather stripping and put it around windows and doors, and add shade screens, for which SRP offers a rebate.

Finally, keep the thermostat set to 78-80 degrees when the house is occupied and about 82 degrees when no one is home.

Jim Cross, Reporter

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