Additional federal funding for rent and utility assistance is available through the City of Tucson and Pima County for tenants, landlords and property managers. This program is limited to those who need rental assistance and may also be behind on utilities. Funding requests for unpaid rent and utilities are available for up to 12 months in arrears, and three months in advance. For information, eligibility requirements, and to apply online, visit the Tucson and Pima County Eviction Prevention Program or call (831) 292-4308 to apply.
TEP understands that many customers are facing financial hardships during the pandemic. To provide relief, TEP is offering extended payment arrangements and other assistance to customers who have fallen behind on their electric bills.
Customers who had overdue balances after January 18, 2021 have been enrolled in an 8-month payment arrangement. These plans, authorized under rules approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) on Dec. 8, 2020, will give customers more time pay down overdue balances. If that won’t be long enough, please call TEP Customer Care to request a longer payment plan.
Low-income customers can qualify for a $18 monthly discount through TEP’s Lifeline program. The program is available to residential customers whose household income does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
The ACC also directed TEP to provide one-time bill credits of up to $250 to Lifeline program participants with an overdue balance. The credit will be applied automatically to the bills of eligible customers to help reduce or resolve their overdue balances.
TEP also works with community partners to provide emergency bill payment assistance to qualifying customers. In addition to funds contributed by TEP 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 information is available from the City of Tucson and Pima County.
More details about these and other assistance options are below:
- Payment Arrangements – Customers who did not fully pay their overdue balance before January 18, 2021 were enrolled in a payment arrangement that divided their balance into eight equal installments. Those arrangements replaced the previous payment plans delinquent customers were placed on when disconnections for nonpayment was suspended during the summer. 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 and just need a little extra time to pay can request a payment extension through My Account, using TEP’s mobile app or by calling TEP Customer Care at 520-623-7711. 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 – TEP 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 these organizations directly to request assistance:
- Lifeline – Our low-income assistance program provides a monthly discount to qualifying customers. The program is currently available to residential customers whose household incomes do not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. In December 2020, the City of Tucson provided $500,000 to TEP through its We Are One/Somos Uno Resiliency Fund to help pay the delinquent balances of qualifying low-income customers. TEP divided the funds among all eligible customers with delinquent balances and applied the credits automatically in December. The credits were limited to residents of the City of Tucson or South Tucson who were enrolled in TEP's Lifeline program as of Dec. 17, 2020.
- 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 – TEP offers four different pricing plans that allow you to better control your electric 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 – TEP offers many simple no or low-cost ways to save energy throughout your home to help reduce your electric 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 – Use My Account on the TEP website or the TEP 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 TEP 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 power is shut off for non-payment, you must pay your delinquent bill and a reconnect fee before your power 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.
TEP 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 electric service.