PHOENIX —Arizona Public Service Co. has announced it will temporarily stop disconnecting service to residential customers who are behind on their payments and launch a review of its disconnection policies.

The decision was driven by a number of factors, including recent public comments at Arizona Corporation Commission meetings and conversations with community stakeholders about customer care and safety; the onset of summer heat; and reports of a 2018 customer death in which heat may have been a contributing factor after APS disconnected electricity service.

“Our hearts go out to the family of the customer. The safety of our fellow Arizonans is our top priority,” APS said in a statement. “We want all our customers to stay connected, especially during the summer. Over the next 30 days, we will conduct a thorough review of our disconnection policies. We will bring together a group of community organizations, advocates for limited-income customers and other public agencies to work together on the best options to help customers keep their service connected.”

Customers will still be billed for energy usage during this suspension of disconnections, and responsible for paying their bills on time. APS offers a number of assistance programs including payment arrangements, due-date extensions and bill support programs. There are also options for customers who may want to pick a preferred due date, set up auto payment or enroll in the Safety Net program, a resource for customers who may need extra help with bill reminders.

For more information, call 602-371-7171 (Phoenix area) or 800-253-9405 (outside Phoenix) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays or visit aps.com.

“We are working to serve our customers better and will use this time as an opportunity to improve the way we serve customers whose accounts become at risk of disconnection,” APS said in a statement.

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