By Spencer Blake | 3TV/CBS 5
The summer heat will be here before we know it, and the Arizona Corporation Commission is trying to figure out the best way to prevent power shutoffs during the extreme heat. On Tuesday, commissioners discussed whether to keep the summertime moratorium in place that we saw last year or pick a different method.
Currently, power shut-offs are prohibited from June 1 to October 15. The issue of utility shut-offs during extreme heat became an intense debate after 72-year-old Stephanie Pullman died in 2018. She had just made a partial payment on her power bill, but because her account was $51 past due, APS cut her electricity. Pullman died on a 107° day.
“At the end of the day, this should be about protecting human life, and it’s the Arizona Corporation Commissioners’ job to protect health and public safety,” said consumer advocate Stacey Champion.
She was one of the many people who gave public comment during the commission’s open meeting on March 23. She likes the current moratorium, but she also wants to add in any other day when it’s 95° or hotter, noting the temperature reached triple digits in April 2020.