Electricity bills in the summertime

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In the hot summer, what are residents to do if they can’t afford their electricity bills? The Arizona Corporation Commission has instituted a policy for APS to not shut off electricity for non-payment during the summer.

SRP, which is not regulated by the Commission, has its own policy to not disconnect customers when the National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning or if the customer owes less than $300. Also, there are other electric companies not regulated by the Commission with various shut off policies. What should residents know, and what are ways to save on your bill?

Lea Márquez Peterson of the Arizona Corporation Commission discussed the steps residents should take if they cannot pay their bills.

What should residents do if they cannot pay their electric bills?

“First and foremost, they need to contact their utility. They need to let them know that they’re having challenges. I also want to make sure people understand that at the Commission, we have passed a Disconnect Moratorium, which means you cannot be disconnected for service in a residential home from June 1 to October 15. That is something they’ll work with you on. But it’s important to communicate with your utility. Whether you have medical devices at home or what your particular situation is, you can work out a payment plan,” Peterson said.

After calling their utility, residents will be notified there is no disconnect, but there is still money owed. More than likely, residents will be referred to programs to help them become more energy efficient, depending on their situation, according to Peterson.

“There are also programs that assist low-income families that can help forgive some of that expense. They’ll be referred to different agencies, non-profits and government entities that help in that regard,” Peterson said.

Assistance programs exist, but it is important to let your utility know your situation so that you can be made aware of what do do next.

Lea Márquez Peterson, MBA/Commissioner, Arizona Corporation Commission

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