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Arizona utilities ask customers to reduce electricity use

August 20, 2020 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona’s three largest electric utilities asked customers to reduce power use Wednesday as a heat wave cooking the West sends demand soaring and a fire shut down a major transmission line bringing electricity to metro Phoenix.

Arizona Public Service Co., Tucson Electric Power and the Salt River Project urged customers to avoid using major appliances from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., raise their home thermostats to limit use and turn off unnecessary lights.

All three electricity providers said they have enough power now but urged conservation.

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The Salt River Project said a wildfire burning in Tonto National Forest forced the shutdown of a large transmission line from eastern Arizona to Phoenix. The utility said the outage may mean it has a shortfall in power.

APS spokesman Jim McDonald said the utility has enough power, but if a major plant or transmission line fails there could be a power shortfall.

SRP is a non-profit that serves about 1 million customers in metro Phoenix. APS is the state’s largest utility and serves about 1.3 million homes and businesses in 11 of 15 Arizona counties. Tucson Electric Power serves about 430,000 customers in metro Tucson.

Utilities in California and Nevada are also urging customers to conserve electricity for a second day as the Western U.S. bakes. __

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This story has been corrected to identify the APS spokesman as Jim McDonald instead of Hal Pittman.