UniSource Energy Services will pass along tax savings to customers sooner to help cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The company’s requests, approved May 5, 2020 by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), will provide usage-based bill credits in June that amount to $11 for electric residential customers with typical energy use. Residential gas customers with typical usage will receive a $6 credit.
“We want to continue supporting our communities during this difficult time, and this plan will provide customers with some additional assistance right away,” said David G. Hutchens, UniSource’s Chief Executive Officer.
The credits will be funded from what remains of $4.5 million in federal income tax savings the ACC had previously authorized deferring until the next time it reset the company’s gas and electric rates.
In addition to credits for residential customers, UniSource will assist small commercial electric customers with bill credits of about $13 in June for those with average usage. Small commercial gas customers with typical usage will receive a credit of about $63.
The request follows other actions UniSource has taken to assist customers affected by the pandemic. The company is providing payment extensions and directing qualifying customers to short-term assistance and bill discount programs. UniSource also has suspended service disconnections and late fees until further notice and is providing additional flexibility with its electric pricing plans.
UniSource and sister company Tucson Electric Power (TEP) also have committed to contribute a combined $1 million this year to help limited-income families, small business customers and Native American tribal members pay their energy bills and support local pandemic relief efforts. The contributions come from funds that otherwise would have been forwarded to shareholders and will not be recovered through the companies’ rates.
For more details about UniSource’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, visit uesaz.com/COVID-19.
UniSource provides electric service to approximately 97,000 customers in Mohave and Santa Cruz Counties. The company also provides natural gas to approximately 160,000 customers in Northern and Southern Arizona. For more information, visit uesaz.com.
UniSource, TEP and their 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. For more information, visit fortisinc.com.