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, TEP can help.
We offer bill reminders, payment extensions, payment plans, flexible pricing plans and direct assistance through either through TEP or our community partners.
Here are some of the programs and plans that TEP offers to help customers pay their bills:
- Payment Extensions – Customers may request a payment extension through My Account on the TEP website, using TEP’s mobile app or by calling TEP Customer Care at 520-623-7711. After 30 days, bills are considered delinquent. Typically, customers with a good payment history who request an extension are eligible for an extension.
- Short-term Assistance – TEP cooperates with several community agencies to offer emergency bill-payment assistance to customers facing hardships. Customers should contact these organizations directly for assistance:
- Lifeline Program – Qualifying limited-income customers receive a monthly discount of $15 on their electric bill through TEP’s Lifeline Program. 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 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 – TEP offers four different pricing plans that allow customers to better control their electric bill 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.
- HEERO Program – TEP offers a program that allows customers to help other customers in paying their bills. Customers enrolled in Help with Emergency Energy Relief Operation (HEERO) program simply round-up their bill amount to the next highest dollar and then contribute that amount to the fund. Over the HEERO program’s 20-plus year history, more than $3 million has been donated to assist hundreds of families each year.
TEP offers many simple no or low-cost energy saving tips to help customers reduce their electric bills. In cooperation with the Tucson Urban League and Pima County, we also offer free home weatherization assistance to limited-income residents. Among the free improvements that are offered include caulking and weather-stripping and the installation of insulation, sun screens and low-flow water fixtures.
TEP has voluntarily and temporarily suspended service disconnections for residential customers who fall behind on their electric bill payments while the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) conducts a review of rules governing that process. The ACC will review rules, policies and practices for service disconnection, particularly during periods when extremely hot or cold weather could threaten public health.
Customers are still responsible for paying for the electricity they use. If you don’t pay your electric bills during this period, your balance owed will accumulate and you will still be responsible for paying that amount and subject to possible future disconnection.
Customers are encouraged to call TEP as soon as possible when they realize they will be late or unable to pay their bill by the due date.
“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.”