Many customers pay higher electric bills during the scorching heat, but you don’t have to.  TEP’s Budget Billing program lets you make the same monthly payment year round so you don’t have to sweat unanticipated expenses in summertime.

Budget Billing divides the cost of your estimated annual usage into 12 equal payments, with periodic adjustments if your usage varies. Three customers shared why they signed up for Budget Billing and how it cools down their summer bills.

Dennis Nowik

When he lived in the Midwest, Dennis Nowik visited Tucson at least twice a year, including once to get married in the chapel at DeGrazia’s Gallery in the Sun, 6300 N. Swan Road.

But it wasn’t until he retired to Tucson in 2017 that he realized how summer electric bills can creep up. That first summer bill approached $300 for his three-bedroom, foothills-area house.

“I learned real quick,” Nowik said.

Nowik promptly made the switch to TEP’s Budget Billing program so that he and his wife could pay the same amount each month. He has been a happier customer ever since.

“You’d have these peaks and valleys. I like a controlled budget. I like having a consistent pay out every month. It makes for better planning,” Nowik said. “There’s no shock value when we do the budget.”

He also has taken steps to save energy. The couple installed fans on their high ceilings, replaced canned lights with LEDs and installed a smart thermostat. “These seem like minor things, but they all add up. I don’t notice any difference of the quality of life. It’s good because, ecologically, you want to think of those things.”

Previously, Nowik’s energy bills were higher in the winter. “I’ve dealt with other companies for electricity in Chicago and Madison (Wis.) . There’s a certain sense of compassion that TEP has for its client base,” he said. “It makes a difference.”

Paul Smith

Living in Tucson on and off his entire life, Paul Smith knows how brutal Tucson summers can be – and how they can drive up electric bills.

So, it was an easy decision to join TEP’s Budget Billing program when he and his wife, Nancy, moved into their midtown house in summer 2013. They also participate in our Auto Pay program, which deducts their monthly payment automatically from their bank account.

“Just to make it easier, as we pay the same all year round. You always know what it’s going to be,” Smith said.

Smith was born in Tucson, moved away when he joined the military, came back to work for Pima Community College, then spent time in Washington state before settling here for retirement.

The couple are conscious about their energy usage at their electrically heated home. In the winter, they set their thermostat to 62 degrees overnight and at 69 during the daytime. Many of their lights are LEDs.

Their Budget Billing payment is recalculated each year to reflect their actual annual usage. “It doesn’t fluctuate much and it has dropped, and gone back up again. But you know what it’s going to be. You don’t have to worry about it going up. It just makes it easy, especially if you are on a fixed income.”

He recommends it to other customers: “It makes it easy to do your budgeting.”

Laurel Wadley

Laurel Wadley describes herself as a “crazy budget person,” creating graphs and detailed notes in her checkbook to make sure she keeps track of her bank account.

TEP’s Budget Billing program gives her peace of mind.

Before she moved to Tucson, Wadley and her husband were on a similar program with their Salt Lake City electric provider. The couple, who celebrated their 46th anniversary this year, relocated to Tucson in 2012 to live close to their daughter and only grandchild, who is now almost 16. They signed up for Budget Billing when they started their TEP service.

“To me, it’s logical to have the bill the same every month so I can budget better,” Wadley said.

In a four-bedroom house on the northwest side, Wadley and her husband have made investments to save energy. They’ve upgraded their HVAC system, installed new windows with film that blocks the heat, and added a programmable thermostat. They turn on the thermostat’s “vacation mode” when they are away. Laundry is limited to three loads a week.

Wadley said she is a “very analytical person,” so her meticulous budgeting helps her plan. Auto Pay helps, too, by automatically deducting her bill from her account.

“I always know that I’ll have money to pay a bill. I plan ahead for it,” said Wadley, about her budgeting plan. “I don’t have to think about the electric bill much.”

Ready to sign up? Find more information about Budget Billing and join now.

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