APS asked to forgive debt from unpaid bills due to pandemic and hot summer

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By Ryan Randazzo | Arizona Republic

Several community groups want Arizona Public Service Co. to forgive about $30 million in debt from customers who have not paid bills during the coronavirus pandemic and heat of summer.

The groups said the record-setting unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented heat this summer have combined to cause severe hardships for families struggling to pay bills.

“What sound like trivial numbers to you is the difference between families keeping food in the fridge, making rent, and keeping the AC on during this record heat,” they said in a letter to APS CEO Jeff Guldner. “We need you to stop raising rates and making life harder for Arizona families — and start doing something to make it better.”

The local Sierra Club chapter; Our Voice, Our Vote; Living United for Change in Arizona; Mi Familia Vota; Arizona Interfaith Power And Light and Chispa, a branch of the League of Conservation Voters, all signed the letter to the state’s biggest utility asking for debt forgiveness.

APS officials said Monday they had not yet received the letter but that the company has tried to help customers struggling financially.

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