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New study outlines high costs of extreme heat in Phoenix

By Greg Hahne
Associated Press
Published: Tuesday, December 7, 2021 - 11:03am
Updated: Wednesday, December 8, 2021 - 12:10pm
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Phoenix is hot, and that heat is costing the city. A new study from the Nature Conservancy took a look at the costs of rising temperatures. 

The report detailed both the infrastructure and health costs associated with heat. Maintaining roads costs agencies over $100 million annually.

Extreme heat costs people $7.3 million in emergency room visits and hospitalizations due to heat-related illness.

Heat-associated deaths have shown a consistent upward trend as well, according to data from Maricopa County. Last year saw the highest single-year jump in heat associated deaths in the last 20 years with more than 320 people dying. 

Installing cool roofs on just a third of Phoenix’s structures could save the city nearly $300 million annually to avoid heat related illness, energy costs and decreased labor productivity. 

To learn about the report's other findings, The Show spoke with Anna Bettis, the healthy cities program manager for the Nature Conservancy in Arizona.

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