If you’re struggling financially, additional federal funding for rent and utility assistance is available through the Arizona Department of Economic Security Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Tenants, landlords and property managers may apply for rental and utility relief. This program is limited to those who need rental assistance and may also be behind on utilities. Funding can be requested for unpaid rent and utilities bills up to 15 months in arrears and up to three months in advance. Please act now, as funding is limited. To learn more about eligibility and to apply, visit des.az.gov/ERAP.
UniSource understands that many customers are facing financial hardships during the pandemic. To provide relief, UniSource is offering extended payment arrangements and other assistance to customers who have fallen behind on their bills.
Customers who had overdue balances after January 18, 2021 were enrolled in an 8-month payment arrangement. The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) directed UniSource to create such payment arrangements for residential electric customers, and we’re doing the same for all UniSource customers with overdue balances – residential and commercial, gas and electric. If you need a longer payment arrangement, please call UniSource Customer Care at 877-837-4968.
Low-income customers can qualify for discounted service through our CARES program, which is available to residential customers whose household income does not exceed 150 percent of the federal poverty level. The ACC has voted to expand eligibility for our CARES electric program to households with income up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
The ACC also directed UniSource to provide one-time bill credits of up to $250 to electric customers participating in the CARES program with overdue balances as of the effective date of the ACC’s order. Those payments will be applied automatically to reduce or resolve those customers’ overdue balances.
UniSource also works with community partners to provide emergency bill payment assistance to qualifying customers. In addition to funds contributed by UniSource and our customers, these providers can access federal energy assistance funds and emergency aid provided through the CARES pandemic relief act approved earlier this year.
More details about these and other assistance options are below:
- Payment Arrangements – Customers who were not able to fully pay any overdue balance shown on the first bill they received before January 18, 2021 were enrolled in a payment arrangement that divides their balance into eight equal installments. Customers placed on payment arrangements must pay these installments plus their current monthly bills in full and on time. All customers are responsible for paying for all the energy they use.
- Payment Extensions – Customers who aren’t already on a payment arrangement can request a payment extension through My Account, using UniSource’s mobile app or by calling UniSource Customer Care at 877-837-4968. Typically, customers with a good payment history are eligible for an extension. If you are denied a payment extension online or through our automated IVR system, please speak to one of our Customer Service Representatives.
- Short-term Bill Payment Assistance – UniSource cooperates with several community agencies to offer emergency bill payment assistance to customers through the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and the statewide Home Energy Assistance Fund administered by Wildfire. Please contact the statewide organizations listed below to request assistance or click here for a list of agencies by county.
- Emergency Rental Assistance Program – Help is available for UniSource Electric or Gas customers who are renting their home and are behind on their bills. Those earning less than 80 percent of the area’s median income who have been impacted by COVID can receive benefits to pay their energy bills through the Arizona Department of Economic Security.
- Customer Assistance Residential Energy Support (CARES) – Qualified electric customers receive a $16 monthly discount, while gas customers can receive 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 use each month from November through April. Those discounts can reduce your expenses by up to $18 per month during the home heating season, when gas use is at its highest.
- Budget Billing – Make your monthly bill amount more manageable by enrolling in our Budget Billing program. Your estimated annual bill is divided into 12 monthly payments so that you pay the same amount each month. This helps reduce summertime expenses when bills are typically the highest. Customers placed on payment arrangements will be removed from Budget Billing, but are welcome to re-enroll when their account is current.
- Flexible Pricing Plans – UniSource offers four different electric pricing plans that allow you to better control your monthly bills by choosing a plan that best suits your energy use. Three of these plans can help you save money if you avoid using energy during on-peak hours when the demand is high.
- Energy Efficiency Tips – UniSource customers can find many simple no or low-cost ways to save energy throughout their home to help reduce your energy bills. We also offer rebates on a wide range of products and services to make your home more comfortable, safe and energy efficient.
- Free Home Weatherization Assistance – We work with community partners to offer free home weatherization assistance to limited-income residents. Among the free home retrofits offered are air conditioning system replacement, weather-stripping, caulking, sun shades and low-flow water fixtures.
- Tools to Manage Your Bills – My Account on the UniSource website or the UniSource mobile app to easily access your billing information, such as the amount due and due date, previous payment history and energy usage. If you haven’t already established online access to your UniSource account, you can sign up using information on your most recent bills.
Customers remain responsible for paying for all the energy they use and could be subject to possible disconnection in the future for non-payment. Any deposit on your account will be applied before initiating disconnection for non-payment. If this happens, you will be required to repay a deposit over four months.
If your service is shut off for non-payment, you must pay your delinquent bill and a reconnect fee before service is restored. We also will establish a payment plan that requires you to pay a deposit over four months. There is no guarantee service will be restored the same day you pay.
UniSource does not accept any cryptocurrency as payments, including bitcoin.
If you have fallen behind on your bills, please contact us today. We stand ready to help you maintain access to safe, reliable service.