Hot summer temperatures can lead to increased electric use, making it harder for those on fixed and lower-income budgets to pay higher bills.
If you or someone you know is having trouble paying their electric bills, UniSource can help.
We offer bill reminders, payment extensions, payment plans, flexible pricing plans and direct assistance through either through UniSource or our community partners.
Here are some of the programs and plans that UniSource offers to help customers pay their bills:
- Payment Extensions – Customers may request a payment extension through My Account on the UniSource website, using UniSource’s mobile app or by calling Customer Care at 877-837-4968. After 30 days, bills are considered delinquent. Typically, customers with a good payment history are eligible for an extension.
- Short-term Assistance – UniSource works with several community agencies to provide emergency gas and electric bill payment assistance for limited-income customers. Customers should contact these organizations directly for assistance:
- CARES – Our Customer Assistance Residential Energy Support (CARES) program provides a $16 flat rate monthly discount on customers’ electric bills. For natural gas customers, CARES also offers a $3 discount on the standard Basic Service and Meter Charge as well as a 15 cent-per-therm discount for up to 100 therms of gas used from November through April. Those discounts reduce gas bills by $18 per month during the home heating season. Customers whose household incomes do not exceed 150 percent of the 2019 federal poverty guidelines qualify for assistance.
- Budget Billing – Customers can better manage their monthly bill and budget by enrolling in Budget Billing. Your estimated annual bill is divided into 12 equal monthly payments so that you pay the same amount each month. The amount is typically lower than participants’ usual summer bills, so the plan can be a good way to reduce summertime expenses.
- Flexible Pricing Plans – UniSource offers four different electric pricing plans that allow customers to better control their bills by choosing a plan that is right for them and their energy use. Three of these plans offer customers lower rates for avoiding energy use during on-peak hours when the demand is high.
- Warm Spirit – UniSource offers a program that allows customers to help other customers in paying their bills. Customers enrolled in the Warm Spirit program simply round-up their bill amount to the next highest dollar or pledge a certain amount each month through their bill. The donations are then distributed to the nonprofit Home Energy Assistance Fund, which assists eligible households.
- UniSource offers many simple and no or low-cost energy saving tips. UniSource works with partner agencies to provide free weatherization assistance and energy efficiency retrofits to the homes of income-qualifying customers. Among the improvements available are caulking and weather-stripping and the installation of insulation, sun screens and low-flow water fixtures.
Customers are encouraged to call UniSource as soon as possible if they’re struggling to pay their bills.
“If you know you will be late or unable to pay your bill by the due date, contact us immediately. Don’t wait,” said Denise Richerson-Smith, Director of Customer Service and Programs. “We are willing to work with customers and provide options and resources to help them pay their bills, especially during extreme temperatures.”