TUCSON (Oct. 25 , 2021) –Tucson Electric Power (TEP) has partnered with the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) for a program that provides $36 million in federal funding to eligible renters to pay their overdue natural gas and electric bills to ensure continued service.
Alongside TEP, several other private utilities are participating in the program: UniSource Energy Services, Arizona Public Service, Salt River Project and Southwest Gas. The utilities have committed to contacting potentially eligible customers to see if they qualify for bill payment assistance and help them apply.
To qualify, a household must rent and have a household income less than or equal to 80 percent of the Area Median Income, which is $38,300 for a single person or $54,700 for a family of four in Pima County. Customers also must be behind on their utility bills. The accounts must be in their name.
Customers can find out if they qualify for federal assistance by referencing an eligibility table on the TEP website or by simply calling TEP Customer Care at 520-623-7711.
Once a customer’s eligibility is confirmed, DES will release funds to the utility to apply to the customer’s account. Customers also may qualify for funding to pay future utility bills.
TEP is informing renters about the availability of utility bill assistance through several marketing efforts, including the distribution of information at area food banks, emails, newsletters and a note on billing statements, among other measures.
“We’re excited about the potential for this partnership,” said Susan Gray, TEP President and Chief Executive Officer. “Leveraging our shared resources will help us achieve our common goal of ensuring federal COVID-19 relief funds are used efficiently and effectively to help those most impacted by this pandemic.”
The announcement of the utility assistance funding comes as the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that American households will spend more money on energy this winter compared to last year.
TEP provides safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than 433,000 customers in Southern Arizona. For more information, visit tep.com. TEP and its parent company, UNS Energy, are subsidiaries of Fortis Inc. (NYSE: FTS), 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.
Media Contact: Sherri Cadeaux