Arizona residents are struggling to pay their bills and with Governor Doug Ducey continuing to limit their opportunities to earn a living, utilities companies are extending the disconnection moratorium.
According to the Arizona Corporation Commission, the emergency moratorium on utility disconnections due to non-payment was originally scheduled to end on October 15, 2020. However, disturbing disconnection data changed that plan.
APS (Arizona Public Service), TEP (Tucson Electric Power) and UNSE (UniSource Electric) provided data to the Commission on current residential and commercial customer account arrearages. The data indicates that on October 15, tens of thousands of Arizonans may be subject to disconnection from their electric and gas providers, leaving many of them without access to work and school via the internet, air conditioning and other essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
APS reported to the Commission that they voluntarily extended the Company’s disconnection moratorium through December 31, 2020. In addition, APS will implement automatic six-month payment arrangements for delinquent customers at the conclusion of the extended moratorium, which exceeds the four-month terms included in the Company’s Service Schedule 1.
TEP reported that they are extending the suspension of disconnections for residential and small commercial customers through the end of the year. In order to help customers avoid incurring large past due balances during this period, TEP and UNS Electric plan to proceed with the payment plan provisions outlined in Decision Nos. 77372 and 77373 beginning after October 15, 2020.
The Companies will also offer flexible payment arrangements for their customers.