APS to put customers behind on bills on payment plans as temporary relief ends Tuesday

Temporary relief for Arizona Public Service customers is soon coming to an end. An emergency rule stopped them from cutting power to those behind on bills, but APS says they have tens of thousands of customers who owe money on their utility bill.

The emergency rule prevented the utility company from cutting power to delinquent customers during the hottest months of the year. The grace period is coming to an end. 

"To make it as easy as possible for customers, no disconnect will happen tomorrow," said Annette Cartier, APS Program Manager. "Balances will continue to accrue, and if they hit $300 then they will fall into the disconnect process, but that’s not immediate.”

APS says 88,000 customers have back bills with about $30 million owed. If you're one of them with a balance of more than $75, your four-month payment plan starts Tuesday, October 16.

“Part of our disconnection process is to leave door hangers at the residence," explained Cartier. "There is a visit but that’s just one of our five forms of communication. We use email, we use the bill, we use door hangers, automatic dialers and sometimes a live phone call.”

There are options out there. The Salvation Army offers utility assistance to people with economic hardships. 

"It can seem bleak, it can seem like there’s nowhere to turn, but when people connect with us we want to be there to provide the support that they need in real-time,” said Jowan Thornton with the Salvation Army. 

If you are an APS customer who needs help with their bill, contact APS or an agency that offers financial assistance.