In APS’s 2016 rate review proposal, the company’s commitment to easing the cost of electricity for limited-income customers is increasing dramatically. APS’s proposal establishes a simple, flat monthly discount of $34 (up to 80 percent of the customer’s bill) and seeks a $12 million expansion of current program support, to total $48 million.
“APS offers significant help to people with limited incomes who sometimes must choose between putting food on the table, paying electric bills or buying clothes,” said George Dean, President & CEO of the Greater Phoenix Urban League. “The increased program support they’re proposing would make a huge difference in the lives of many Arizonans.
”APS also wants to make it easier for eligible customers to enroll in the limited-income support program.
“Currently about 85,000 customers receive assistance but we know more people qualify for discounts, and we want to ensure those who meet the requirements are aware of the help they can get,” said Stacy Derstine, Vice President of Customer Service and Chief Customer Officer for APS.
In addition to financial assistance for limited-income customers, APS also provides funding for home weatherization in partnership with Community Action Programs throughout Arizona. The weatherization program enables low-income customers to make their homes more energy-efficient. When homeowners can’t afford minor repairs to their homes, cooling or heating the home becomes more difficult. APS supports weatherization workshops in rural areas that teach customers how to seal cracks in walls and windows and make other minor adjustments that can help them save big on energy bills. In 2015, APS allocated $2.3 million to help with limited-income weatherization projects around the state.
“Our weatherization program helps customers improve the efficiency of their homes at no cost to them,” said Derstine. “We want to ensure everyone can afford to run their air conditioners in the heat of the summer and their heaters in the cold of winter.”