Tucson Electric Power (TEP) will return unused energy efficiency funds to customers to help cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
TEP’s request, approved May 5, 2020 by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), will provide usage-based bill credits in June that will amount to $13 for residential customers with typical energy use.
“We want to continue supporting our communities during this difficult time, and this bill credit will provide customers with some additional assistance right away,” said David G. Hutchens, TEP’s Chief Executive Officer.
TEP will refund an $8.3 million balance raised through the demand side management surcharge on customers’ bills. That surcharge funds efforts to comply with Arizona’s energy efficiency (EE) standard, but the company can satisfy anticipated demand for its EE programs through ongoing collections. The average residential customer pays approximately $2.31 a month through the surcharge.
In addition to credits for residential customers, TEP will assist small commercial customers with $46 bill credits in June for those with average usage.
The request follows other actions TEP 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. TEP also has suspended service disconnections and late fees until further notice and is providing additional flexibility with its electric pricing plans.
TEP and sister company UniSource Energy Services also 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 TEP’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, visit tep.com/COVID-19.
TEP provides safe, reliable electric service to approximately 429,000 customers in Southern Arizona. For more information, visit tep.com. TEP, UniSource 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.