Coronavirus Update: Powering Through
UniSource Energy Services is taking proactive steps to support public health and ensure the continued availability of safe, reliable energy during the coronavirus pandemic.
As a provider of a critical service, UniSource is vigilant about potential public health threats. In addition to reviewing our own systems and supplies, we’re coordinating with state and local authorities and complying with directives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Like many employers, we’ve taken action to limit unnecessary risks of exposure. Many of our employees are working remotely, while field crews and others who must continue working in person are practicing social distancing, stepping up cleaning protocols and taking other protective measures in line with CDC guidelines. We know we play a critical role in the communities we serve and are prepared to continue in that capacity through any contingency that may arise.
Please understand that our crews and other employees have been advised to take precautions when interacting with customers or other members of the public based on social distancing guidance from the CDC. These measures include avoiding handshakes and attempting to stay at least 6 feet away from others when practical. If our representatives need to enter a gas customer’s home for safety purposes, they might wear appropriate protective gear. Also, as a precaution, the payment window at our Nogales office will remain closed until further notice. For information about payment options, click here.
Our customer service representatives remain available to provide assistance as needed, and our crews are still on the job, ensuring that our system remains up and running. We’ve stocked up on critical materials where appropriate, reviewed our supply chains and made sure our power plant technicians, system operators and other critical teams are well prepared for potential problems.
We stand ready to help customers affected by this pandemic with payment extensions or enrollment in short-term assistance and bill discount programs. We know some customers could face financial challenges because of this public health threat, so we are suspending service disconnections and late fees until Jan. 1, 2021.
UniSource Energy Services and our sister company Tucson Electric Power are donating a combined $1 million to bill payment assistance and other coronavirus relief efforts in the communities they serve across Arizona.
UniSource Energy Services will pass along tax savings to customers sooner to help cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. UniSource will provide usage-based bill credits in June that amount to $11 for electric residential customers with typical energy use and about $13 for small commercial electric customers. Residential gas customers with typical usage will receive a $6 credit, with small commercial gas customers receiving a credit of about $63.
We’re also happy to help electric customers switch from a time-of-use (TOU) or demand-based pricing plan to our Basic plan if they are concerned that on-peak energy rates or demand charges will increase their energy expenses due to increased time spent at home.
We’ll be working with other critical service providers, including hospitals and local government agencies, to ensure that we’re working together to support our community’s wellbeing. We know the best service we can offer is to continue providing safe, reliable energy – a commitment we’ll keep throughout this public health challenge.