Blog Archives

Birdseye view of canals weaving through metro Phoenix

Here are views of Arizona’s canal system from a perspective you and I may not have seen before. Video courtesy of Salt River Project and remix compiled by ASU graduate student, Sam Feldman.

Dam power promoted era of Valley growth

Theodore Roosevelt Dam

[Source: Ryan Randazzo, Arizona Republic] — One hundred years ago today, cheap power gave Phoenix a jolt.  Until Oct. 1, 1909, the city of 11,000 relied on gas lanterns and electricity from small wood- and gas-burning power plants.  But on that day, the homes and businesses in Phoenix received their first cheap, free-flowing electricity from the Theodore Roosevelt Dam.

The power boosted development at a time when Tucson and Clifton-Morenci both had larger populations than Phoenix, and Bisbee wasn’t far behind.  But buoyed with abundant electricity and water from the dam, Phoenix became the biggest city in the state by 1920, and grew to the fifth-largest city in the nation early in the 21st century.

The U.S. Reclamation Service, which ran the dam before Salt River Project took over, found cheap electricity was a side benefit.  “It really solidified Phoenix as the capital of Arizona,” said Doug Kupel, a historian with the city’s legal department.  “All the activity in Arizona — mining, agriculture, banking — Phoenix was at the center of that.” [Note: Read the full article at Dam power promoted era of Valley growth.]

Phoenix residents urged to stay energy-wise during the holidays

[Source: Energy Department, Arizona Department of Commerce] — Phoenix residents are encouraged to stay energy-wise during the holidays as they gear up to decorate homes, offices, yards, and other areas with cheerful lights and electric displays of joy.  While Arizonans have become more mindful of their power usage and follow advice to save energy by disconnecting appliances or devices when not in use, it is not always as easy to remember to do so with holiday displays and lights, which can pull in significant amounts of electricity.

Ten strings of 100 mini-lights that are on for ten hours per day can add anywhere from $11 to nearly $16 a month to an electric bill, depending on which utility provides service.  Larger bulbs can add up to ten times as much or even more; however, using LED lights can cost anywhere from $1.20 to $3 a month, saving a considerable amount of electricity and money.

Utility companies statewide are making LED vs. standard holiday light calculators available online, and providing incentives to consumers to make the switch to LED lights and decorations:

LEDs are available at most department, hardware, grocery, and do-it-yourself stores.  They cost more, but last up to ten years and will pay for themselves in the long run when properly maintained from season to season.  In the meantime, residents who are not ready to transition to low-energy décor can place lights on timers to ensure they automatically turn off after a few hours; consider placing outdoor lights and displays on photo-sensor devices or outdoor-approved timers so they remain on only in the dark; for small areas, look into using rechargeable battery-operated devices.

SRP to help its customers recycle old appliances

Salt River Project is encouraging customers to take that spare refrigerator or stand-alone freezer and recycle it.  The Appliance Recycling Program is available on first-come, first-served initiative and is aimed at older, working appliances.  SRP will provide free pickup of the extra refrigerators or freezers, and then pay customers to recycle the units by mailing a check for $30 per qualifying appliance after they are picked up.  It’s goal is to decrease energy load, pointing in particular to people with refrigerators and freezers in hot garages.  

“Thirteen percent of SRP customers have two or more refrigerators and nearly 23 percent of homes have one or more stand-alone freezers, often in a hot garage,” said Debbie Kimberly, SRP’s manager of energy efficiency and policy analysis.  “Electricity for that second or third refrigerator or freezer may cost up to $100 dollars a year.”  Kimberly said about 95% of each refrigerator will be recycled through the SRP Appliance Recycling Program, including metals, plastics, glass, polyurethane foam insulation, oil, and refrigerant.  Recycling just one appliance will keep reusable items out of landfills and reduce carbon dioxide by up to 10 tons, or about the same emission reductions as parking two family cars for a year.  For more information, click here.