PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona’s largest electric utility is extending a moratorium on service disconnections put in place in March because of the coronavirus pandemic through the end of 2020.
Arizona Public Service announced the policy change on Tuesday. A disconnect moratorium the utility put in place on March 15 was automatically extended by state policy on warm-weather power shutoffs for residential customers on June 1. APS voluntarily extended that to business customers.
That residential disconnect hold by state regulators expires Oct. 15, but APS says it will extend it though the end of the year for both residential and business customers.
Late fees will also be waived.
The utility said that although outstanding balances will still be owed, it has put in place a series of assistance programs to help customers pay their bills, including direct financial help and payment plans. Customers having difficulty paying their electric bills should review those plans at aps.com/support.
As of Aug. 31, APS said approximately 38,300 residential accounts and 4,700 business accounts would have been eligible for disconnection on Oct. 15 because they are past due by $300 or more.
APS serves 1.3 million residential and business customers in 11 of 15 Arizona counties.