APS announces $1.5M increase in aid to customers experiencing financial hardship

Arizona Public Service announced Tuesday, Jan. 8 a $1.5 million increase in assistance for customers who are struggling to pay their electricity bills due to a sudden financial hardship.

The assistance include s a special fund of $500,000 designated for Arizonans who have been affected by the federal government shutdown.

The announcement more than doubles the amount of Crisis Bill Assistance available to APS customers in 2019, bringing the total to $2.75 million, according to a press release.

The program gives qualifying APS customers up to $400 per year to help pay their electricity bills. Families facing job loss, a lapse in pay due to the federal government shutdown, unforeseen medical expenses or other financial hardships are encouraged to apply and see if they qualify.

Assistance will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to those who qualify.

A network of non-profit community partners throughout Arizona, including Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC), The Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Wildfire’s network of community partners will administer The APS Crisis Bill Assistance program.

When customers seek APS Crisis Bill Assistance from CPLC, St. Vincent de Paul, or Wildfire’s many community partners, they can also check their eligibility for the APS Energy Support Program, which offers a 25 percent discount on their APS monthly bill.

“The program provides access to much needed funding for families that struggle to make ends meet and want an opportunity to get back on their feet,” Andres L. Contreras, CPLC executive vice president of social services and education, said in a prepared statement.

Jerssica Berg, St. Vincent de Paul chief program officer said she is grateful for APS’s partnership in funding homelessness prevention services.

“With their support, we were able to help thousands of individuals and families over the summer, and now we’re pleased to be able to help even more people this winter to keep their lights on and heat running,” she said in a prepared statement.

APS serves about 2.7 million people in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties, and is the Southwest’s foremost producer of clean, safe and reliable electricity. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp.

“The need for this funding is always critical for families and individuals who are struggling, but it is especially important after the first of the year,” Cynthia Zwick, Wildfire executive director, said in a prepared statement.

“We know how grateful families are to have this resource available when a crisis hits.”

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