PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--When life brings unexpected hardships, everyday routines and needs can quickly become struggles. That’s why APS offers the Crisis Bill Assistance Program – extra help with electric bills for customers facing specific challenges like losing a job or incurring a major unexpected expense. Since 2015, APS has provided more than $5 million in Crisis Bill Assistance to help more than 14,000 households. Now, with a $1 million additional investment in this program for 2018 – and new partnerships with Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) and The Society of St. Vincent de Paul – APS is expanding where and how customers can get this important support.
The additional 2018 funding from APS, which is on top of the annual investment of $1.25 million in Crisis Bill Assistance, will be allocated between CPLC and St. Vincent de Paul. CPLC is a new partner for the program that will provide customers, especially in central and southern Arizona, with more locations to receive Crisis Bill Assistance. St. Vincent de Paul currently administers APS Crisis Bill Assistance as a member agency of the Arizona Community Action Association (ACAA). As a result of this additional direct funding from APS to St. Vincent de Paul, the ACAA will reallocate most of the APS funds it previously distributed to St. Vincent de Paul to other network agencies, allowing those agencies to help more customers.
“Everyone faces unexpected circumstances at some point,” said Stacy Derstine, APS Vice President of Customer Service. “This program is a bridge through times of crisis when customers need financial support to make ends meet.”
When customers seek APS Crisis Bill Assistance from CPLC or an ACAA agency like St. Vincent de Paul, they also can check their eligibility for, and enroll in, the APS-funded Energy Support Program, which offers a flat 25 percent discount on all monthly bills.
“We want customers to take advantage of available APS resources for helping manage their electric bills,” Derstine said. “CPLC, St. Vincent de Paul and ACAA help thousands of customers every day who are in situations that may benefit from APS’s bill assistance programs. That’s why they are such valuable partners in helping to get this support to customers when and where they need it.”
CPLC is an all-encompassing organization helping individuals and families become economically and politically empowered and self-sufficient. The organization provides bilingual and bi-cultural services in health and human service, housing, education and economic development to more than 300,000 individuals annually. Founded in 1969, CPLC today serves communities in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico, making it one of the largest Hispanic nonprofits in the country.
“We look forward to adding APS’s Crisis Bill Assistance Program and information about APS’s Energy Support Program to our emergency assistance services,” said Andres L. Contreras, CPLC Executive Vice President of Social Services and Education. “This will enable us to further support families in need with financial relief to help them keep their electricity and AC running. The program will provide access to much needed funding for families that struggle to make ends meet and want an opportunity to get back on their feet.”
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has been working to feed, clothe, house and heal Arizona families and individuals since 1946. Programs and services include dining rooms, food boxes, utility and rent assistance, a shelter, a medical and dental clinic for the uninsured, and a resource center for individuals experiencing homelessness. In addition to serving those with nowhere else to turn for help, St. Vincent de Paul provides meaningful service opportunities for volunteers of all ages.
“This APS funding comes in perfect timing, as summers tend to be very stressful for hard-working families and individuals who are already living paycheck to paycheck,” said Shannon Clancy, St. Vincent de Paul’s Associate Executive Director. “We’re so appreciative of our partnership with ACAA and now even more grateful for APS and the support as we serve those in need.”
For more information on APS support programs like Crisis Bill Assistance and the Energy Support Program, visit aps.com/assistance.
APS serves about 2.7 million people in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties, and is the Southwest’s foremost producer of clean, safe and reliable electricity. Using a balanced energy mix that is 50 percent carbon-free, APS has one of the country’s cleanest energy portfolios, including both Palo Verde Generating Station and renewable energy. The company is also a proven leader in introducing technology and services that offer customers choice and control over their energy consumption. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).