TUCSON (KVOA) - The weather in Texas is warming up after enduring a deadly winter storm last week. Residents were without power for days. Their power grids work differently than the rest of the country. Experts said it is not necessarily a good thing.
"If the weather gets cold here in Arizona, we would not expect to see these massively high bills and blackouts Texas had," Ashley Langer, an economist at the University of Arizona said.
That is because Arizona is regulated, while Texas is not.
"Our energy grid in Arizona is connected in other states," Lea Márquez Peterson, Arizona Corporation Commission chairwoman said. "So we have ways in which to pull energy supply, whether that be gas, electricity or wind resources to our state. Texas is more insolated. They work only among themselves with their grid."
Arizona Corporation Commission is the Public Utilities Commission of the State of Arizona. They said there is no need for Arizonans to worry.
"We see 70 to 80 different rate cases a year," Márquez Peterson said. "So we are ensuring Arizonans are protected, prepared for the high summer heat we see in Arizona. We also do winter preparedness meetings with our utilities."
Langer added, "these very cold temperatures can be very important even in warm climates. So we should potentially be thinking about how resilient our natural gas line, our fuel supplies and even our generators themselves in actually the colder temperatures and not just the warm ones that we normally think about."
Experts said they are learning from Texas and are holding meetings.
"So we can ensure electric, water, gas, wastewater and all other utilities that we regulate are prepared for any unusual weather patterns or trends we are seeing," Márquez Peterson. "Even changing in the energy structure."
That is all being watched very closely in Arizona.