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With about a month before a moratorium on utility disconnections ends, two consumer advocacy organizations are reminding customers that they will still be responsible for paying all outstanding bills even if they’ve not been keeping up with payments during the summer.
Cynthia Zwick, executive director of Wildfire, and Diane E. Brown, executive director of Arizona PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) Education Fund encourage customers who may not already be on a payment plan to begin one as soon as possible.
“Even during this period when several utilities have put moratoriums in place on electricity shut-offs, it’s important to be on a payment plan to keep bills under control,” Zwick said. “You will still be responsible for them and those who may not be keeping up could face even greater financial challenges when the moratorium ends.”
Brown said that “there are resources available to help customers manage their payments including through the utilities and community organizations. For individuals who are already struggling financially, mounting bills at the end of the moratorium may only make matters worse.”
Once the moratorium ends, customers will have four months to catch up on their bills. “Getting ahead of that now will ease the burden going forward,” Zwick said. Zwick said that information about available resources can be found at the Wildfire website at www.wildfireaz.org or “customers can contact their utility company and request assistance.”
The Arizona Corporation Commission passed an emergency rule in June establishing the moratorium for all regulated electric utilities in Arizona following the death of a woman in Sun City whose power was disconnected.
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