There are a variety of programs offered by APS to help pay the electric bill during the expensive months of winter.
Several are for low-income residents; others can be used by anyone.
These programs, along with weatherization assistance, were discussed at a special meeting at the Payson APS office among representatives from the utility company and agencies serving low-income residents.
The programs for those with low income have qualification guidelines in regard to the amount of money coming into a household. Called the "E-3 Program," qualified applicants cannot have income exceeding 150 percent of the federal low-income guidelines, explained Angie Krainik of APS.
Another program, called E-4, provides additional help for residents who must use medical equipment.
According to Priscilla Brockman, who administers the E-4 program, there are only 160 customers in the Payson area making use of it. She encouraged anyone who must use medical equipment in the home -- or other appliances because of a health condition -- to investigate the E-4 program. For information, call (602) 371-6884.
The E-3 Program offers up to 40 percent off the cost of monthly electricity bills. The program is administered in cooperation with the Arizona Department of Economic Security.
To sign up for the E-3 program, customers must fill out an application (available at all APS offices, Community Action Program offices and other service centers for the low-income) and mail it back to DES. The DES address is on the application form. APS also offers agencies that administer federal low-income energy support funds (LIHEAP) the ability to electronically request enrollment for eligible APS customers. For additional information on E-3, call (800) 253-9405.
The E-3 Program has been approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission and is paid for by APS customers.
The weatherization program is also available to low-income residents and in addition to weatherizing residences, includes addressing health and safety issues, repair and replacement and bill assistance.
Renters can also use the program. It is administered through the Gila County Community Action Program office in Globe. Call (800) 304-4452.
Linda Haven, revenue recovery department leader, discussed some of the programs available to other residents. These included the Equalizer Program, which allows customers to pay a set rate based on the 12-month average of their electric bills. The registration for this program is generally February through April.
Customers can also select different rate plans adapted to when they are making the most use of electricity.
There is also a program that allows a third party to assist in keeping electric bills current. Called, "Safety Net," APS customers agree to have a third party designated to be notified when their account is in jeopardy of disconnection. While the third party will not be billed, they can contact the customer to offer assistance.
This program currently only has 60 participants throughout the state.
To find out more about the various programs APS has to assist in lowering energy bills and use, visit the Payson APS office at 400 W. Longhorn Road, call (800) 253-9405, or visit aps.com.
The Payson summit was the 10th meeting of its kind hosted by APS throughout the state since May 2006.
The summits are part of APS's overall effort to increase awareness of conservation measures to help customers manage their energy use and lower their energy bills.