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There's help for older Arizona adults struggling with summer AC bills

Phoenix heat can be deadly for anyone, but older adults are at greater risk. Yet, keeping the air conditioning on can be financially difficult for low-income seniors. Both SRP and APS offer discount programs for qualifying customers. 

Kathleen Mascarenas is with SRP. She says if a customer is struggling to pay their bill, call.

"We find that oftentimes people hesitate to call. Or maybe they're embarrassed or they just don't know that we're going to help them, that we're here to help them," she said.

And they have English and Spanish-speaking reps available 24/7, she says. SRP also has a safety net program.

"It designates a third party such as a family member or friends to be notified if their bill becomes past due."

APS offers discounts, too. Lily Quezada is with the utility. 

"We do offer a 25% discount on monthly bills for customers who qualify," she said.

They also offer a Crisis Bill Assistance Program, "which offers our customers who are eligible with up to $800 to pay past [due] bills."

Both utilities have partnered with community organizations to help customers keep the air on. 

Resources

There is help available for people having trouble paying the summer utility bill.

More about extreme heat

Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.