UniSource Energy Services customers should expect higher gas bills in the winter of 2021-2022 due to the rising price of natural gas, which more than doubled across the country in 2021. UniSource expects average residential gas bills will increase 4-11 percent this winter compared to the winter of 2020-2021. For residential customers, this will result in estimated monthly bill increases of about $2.50 – $8.50. The actual impact will vary based on weather and individual usage, with customers who use more gas at the higher end of that range.
UniSource buys natural gas and passes those costs along without any markup. Much of the natural gas customers will use in the winter of 2021-2022 was purchased when prices were lower, but price increases throughout 2021 will have an impact on bills this winter and later in 2022. This increase will be cushioned by UniSource’s natural gas rates, which are designed to help mitigate the impact of sudden changes in market prices. Customers are billed based on a rolling twelve-month average of actual gas costs, with limits on month-to-month increases.
UniSource offers many options to help customers facing financial challenges, including due date extensions and payment plans. We also offer low-income discounts and work with community partners to provide emergency bill payment assistance to qualifying customers. In addition to funds contributed by UniSource and our customers, these agencies can access federal energy assistance funds and emergency aid.
Federal funding for rent and utility assistance is available through the Arizona Department of Economic Security Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Tenants, landlords and property managers may apply for rental and utility relief. This program is limited to those who need rental assistance and may also be behind on utility bills. Funding can be requested for unpaid rent and utility bills up to 15 months in arrears and up to three months in advance. To learn more about eligibility and to apply, visit des.az.gov/ERAP.