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UniSource Urges Customers with Overdue Bills to Act as Service Disconnections Resume

Written by The Bee News

March 1, 2021

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UniSource Urges Customers with Overdue Bills to Act as Service Disconnections Resume

Tucson, Ariz. – UniSource Energy Services is urging customers with overdue bills to take action and request assistance if necessary to avoid possible service disconnections. Almost a full year after suspending disconnections, UniSource is now resuming that step as a last resort for accounts with overdue balances.

This includes potential disconnection of customers who haven’t paid for their electric service despite extended payment plans and other available assistance. UniSource has provided repeated notices to affected customers, including on-bill messages, letters, email messages and, in some cases, telephone calls from a customer service representative.

“Resources are available to help those who’ve fallen behind on their bills and we encourage customers to call us if they need help,” said Dallas Dukes, Vice President of Customer Experience, Programs and Pricing. “Anyone who’s been notified that their service could be disconnected should reach out to us right away to discuss available options.”

UniSource works with several community agencies to offer emergency bill payment assistance to customers through the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and the statewide Home Energy Assistance Fund administered by Wildfire. A list of participating organizations is available on UniSource’s website. Low income discounts and payment extensions also may be available for qualifying customers.

UniSource offers other payment assistance programs and options including flexible pricing plans for electric customers, free home weatherization for low-income customers, online tools to manage bills and Budget Billing, which divides customer bills into 12 equal monthly payments.

Assistance also may be available to qualifying tenants and landlords through the Arizona Department of Economic Security. Assistance will be provided on a first come, first-served basis. Learn more at des.az.gov/ERAP.

UniSource and sister company Tucson Electric Power have extended significant support to customers over the past year, including a combined $1 million contribution last year for bill payment assistance and pandemic relief efforts. The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) also directed UniSource to provide one-time bill credits of up to $250 in December 2020 to Customer Assistance Residential Energy Support (CARES) program participants with overdue balances.

UniSource implemented new rules approved by the ACC in December 2020 that provided customers with additional time to catch up with past due bills. Customers with overdue balances on Jan. 18 were enrolled in a payment arrangement that divided their balance into eight equal installments. Customers must pay these installments plus their current monthly bills in full and on time to avoid possible disconnection.

Customers whose service is disconnected are required to pay their delinquent balance plus a reconnection fee before service can be restored. UniSource cannot guarantee that service will be restored the same day payment is made.

UniSource provides electric service to more than 98,000 customers in Mohave and Santa Cruz counties. The company also provides natural gas to more than 162,000 customers in northern and southern Arizona. For more information about UniSource, visit uesaz.com. UniSource and its parent company, UNS Energy, are subsidiaries of Fortis, Inc., which owns utilities that serve more than 3 million customers across Canada and in the United States and the Caribbean. To learn more, visit fortisinc.com.

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