On Feb. 1, APS brought some relief to its residential customers with the announcement of lower monthly bills and additional assistance to federal employees affected by the government shutdown.
The rate reduction took place immediately and will amount to about $3 per household. While this may not sound like a lot, APS says that overall, the average customer’s monthly bill will be $9.59 less than it was a year before.
“We are always looking for ways to keep our product affordable, as well as safe, clean and reliable,” says Stacy Derstine, APS Vice President of Customer Service. “That’s how, for 20 years, APS rates have stayed below the rate of inflation. We pass savings on to customers when our costs to serve them come down.”
The lower rate came as a result of increased sales of electricity to other Western states, lower operating costs at APS power plants due in part to lower fuel prices and payments made to the power company to take excess solar generation from California.
“Although we continue to work to make power affordable, we know some of our customers may still need assistance to pay their electricity bills, and offering them help is the right thing to do,” says Derstine. Since August, APS has added $2.5 million to its Crisis Bill Assistance program and, with recent additions, the total is $2.75 million. “Our Energy Support Program offers a 25-percent monthly discount that can make a big difference for customers who qualify.”
In February, APS announced a $1.5 million increase in assistance for customers struggling to pay their electricity bills because of sudden financial hardship. A special fund of $500,000 has been allocated for Arizona customers affected by the shutdown. The program gives qualifying customers up to $400 per year to help pay their electricity bills.
Families dealing with job loss, lapse in payment due to the shutdown, unforeseen medical expenses or other financial difficulties are encouraged to apply and see if they qualify. Assistance is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more information on the Energy Support Program or Crisis Bill Assistance, log on to aps.com/assistance.