PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The heat is on, and many of us are cringing at the thought of high summer power bills. This year might worse for some as nearly 200,000 people are out of work in Arizona. Many of you wrote Arizona's Family asking what relief might be available for people struggling to pay their utility bills.

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Both APS and SRP have waived non-payment disconnects and late fees during this pandemic. Gov. Doug Ducey signed an executive order making this statewide, so nobody will have their power turned off.

Both SRP and ASP have programs for people who are struggling to pay bills. Usually, you have to meet specific income requirements. Click here if you are an APS customer, and here if you are an SRP customer to learn more about their assistance programs.

Jill Hanks with APS and says people can also delay, break up, and spread out payments, but it's essential to call your utility sooner than later.

"We don't want anyone sitting at home fearful that they are not able to pay and then not do anything," she said. "And then it piles on, and piles on, and then they feel overwhelmed. We want to help you now."

Hanks said APS recently sent a plan to the Arizona Cooperation Commission that would help customers even more. The emergency relief package would include a four-month, 25% bill discount for anyone who lost their job because of COVID-19. It would also apply to people who meet limited income requirements. The package would also include a $300 bill credit for the same groups. The ACC will vote on this emergency relief in the next couple of weeks.

Another way to help trim your bill is with energy savings. Kathleen Mascareñas with SRP says you should turn off lights and fans when you are not in the room.

"When your cell phones are completely charged, when your laptop is completely charged, unplug them," she said. "Because that is continuing to draw energy, costing you money."

SRP has more ways to save on your power bill here.

An Arizona native, born and raised in Mesa, and graduate of Arizona State University, meteorologist Ian Schwartz brings you the forecast weekday mornings on CBS 5 This Morning.
 
 

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