YUMA, Ariz. - APS announced a $1.5 million increase in assistance for customers who are struggling to pay their electricity bills due to a sudden financial hardship, with a special fund of $500,000 designated for Arizonans who have been affected by the federal government shutdown.
Today’s announcement more than doubles the amount of Crisis Bill Assistance available to APS customers in 2019, bringing the total to $2.75 million. The program gives qualifying APS customers up to $400 per year to help pay their electricity bills. Families facing job loss, a lapse in pay due to the federal government shutdown, unforeseen medical expenses, or other financial hardships are encouraged to apply and see if they qualify. Assistance will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to those who qualify.
"$500,000 dollars will go specifically to customers who may be affected by the government shutdown and what this does is it allows a little bit of reprieve. We always have this program in place for customers that may have some financial hardships due to medical issues or loss of a job," said Anna Chaulk, the Community Affairs Manager for APS in Yuma.
Assistance will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to those who qualify. APS serves about 2.7 million people in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties.
The APS Crisis Bill Assistance program is administered by a network of non-profit community partners throughout Arizona, including Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC), The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and Wildfire’s network of community partners (previously Arizona Community Action Association).
When customers seek APS Crisis Bill Assistance from CPLC, St. Vincent de Paul, or Wildfire’s many community partners, they can also check their eligibility for the APS Energy Support Program, which offers a 25 percent discount on their APS monthly bill.
“The program provides access to much needed funding for families that struggle to make ends meet and want an opportunity to get back on their feet,” said Andres L. Contreras, CPLC Executive Vice President of Social Services and Education.
“We are grateful for APS’ partnership to fund our homelessness prevention services,” said Jessica Berg, St. Vincent de Paul Chief Program Officer. “With their support, we were able to help thousands of individuals and families over the summer, and now we’re pleased to be able to help even more people this winter to keep their lights on and heat running.”
“The need for this funding is always critical for families and individuals who are struggling, but it is especially important after the first of the year. We know how grateful families are to have this resource available when a crisis hits,” said Cynthia Zwick, Wildfire Executive Director.