Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and UniSource Energy Services recently announced they will donate a combined US$1 million to bill payment assistance and other coronavirus relief efforts in the communities they serve across Arizona.
Both the companies will contribute US$500,000 to the COVID-19 Community Support Fund established by the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona (CFSA) to support charities experiencing increased service demands from vulnerable populations during this public health crisis. Of that amount, US$350,000 will be directed to Tucson-area agencies and US$150,000 will benefit communities served by UniSource.
The TEP and UniSource will also donate a combined US$500,000 to Wildfire, an Arizona nonprofit group that helps low-income families pay their energy bills. The companies had already committed to contribute US$300,000 to Wildfire this year, and this new pledge increases that amount by US$200,000. TEP customers will receive US$350,000 from this year's contribution, while the remaining US$150,000 will support UniSource electric and gas customers.
"We know many of our customers have been hit hard by this pandemic and we want to do everything we can to help," said David G. Hutchens, chief executive officer of the TEP, UniSource, and their parent company, UNS Energy. "In addition to maintaining reliable energy service, we want to help local nonprofit groups support our communities during this period of unprecedented and urgent need."
"This gift is emblematic of the TEP's and UniSource's long-term understanding that we can only address our communities' needs by working across sectors in true collaboration and partnership. On behalf of our entire community and the nonprofit organizations that make all our lives better, we offer our deep thanks and gratitude," said J. Clinton Mabie, the CFSA's president and CEO.
"The coronavirus pandemic has pushed us all into uncharted territory that is particularly daunting to families and individuals already struggling financially on a daily basis," said Wildfire Executive Director Cynthia Zwick. "The TEP and UniSource Energy Services have been consistent partners in our efforts to provide bill assistance, but these additional funds are extremely critical at this time as we react and adapt to the additional stress presented by this pandemic. We are truly grateful for the additional support."
The companies' contributions come from funds that would otherwise be forwarded to shareholders and will not be recovered through customers' rates. For more details about the companies’ response to the coronavirus pandemic, visit tep.com/COVID-19 or uesaz.com/COVID-19.