Customer Satisfaction | Customer Technologies and Programs | Limited-Income Offerings

Updated: April 2024

To help us achieve an industry-leading customer experience (CX), we developed a CX strategy grounded in best practices and instituted a cross-functional CX Strategy Council, and we continue to get direct feedback from our customers through our Customer Advisory Board. 

Customer Experience Strategy and Council

Our goal is to provide a frictionless customer experience at every touch point. To do so, we must be easy to do business with, serve with compassion, and build value through the options and solutions we offer our customers. To further drive a customer-centric culture, align around our CX strategy, and improve our J.D. Power customer satisfaction performance, we leverage our fully-integrated, cross-functional CX Strategy Council with 160 + employees – from frontline to executives – representing more than 50 departments. By maintaining focus on  serving customers in relevant and meaningful ways, we continued to make enhancements in 2023 in every driver of satisfaction including: 

  • Improved outage map and communications to keep customers better informed during planned and unplanned outages   
  • New payment channels such as Google Pay and Apple Pay, as well as additional in-person payment locations throughout the state 
  • Redesigned aps.com customer dashboard and increased load speed  
  • Automated phone system enhancements for easier self-service and routing to a live advisor
  • New outage, usage, billing and payment alerts to keep customers informed about key service or account updates   

Customer Advisory Board

 To enhance our customer interactions and create an exchange of ideas with our customers, we established a Customer Advisory Board (Board) in 2020. This group meets regularly to inform us of customer needs, wants and perspectives. In 2023, the Board discussed a variety of topics including: rate case messaging, rate plan selection, billing and payment alerts, and outage experience. The Board’s input helped shape communications to customers and our customer program development in these spaces.  

Customer Satisfaction

APS measures customer satisfaction results through the J.D. Power Electric Utility Residential Study and the J.D. Power Electric Utility Business Study.

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Customers are taking notice of our efforts to deliver a positive customer experience. Overall residential customer satisfaction, as reported by J.D. Power, has made extraordinary improvements over the last few years. After finishing in the fourth quartile compared to other large, investor owned utilities in 2020 and 2021, we have now achieved 2nd quartile for the second year in a row, including an improvement in two rank positions compared to 2022. Consequently, overall residential satisfaction remains well above industry benchmarks when compared to the company’s large investor-owned peers. APS's strongest performing drivers for the year were Customer Care (phone and digital), Power Quality and Reliability, Corporate Citizenship, and Billing & Payment.

Additionally, J.D. Power’s business customer 2023 full-year results place the company in the second quartile of utilities nationally. APS's strongest performing drivers for the year were Corporate Citizenship, Billing & Payment, and Price.

Customer Technologies and Programs

APS prioritizes customer partnerships by developing innovative programs to help customers manage their energy use and potentially reduce their costs. To support our clean energy goals, our customer programs are also focused on shifting customer demand to align with solar production. The APS demand response (DR) portfolio offers a variety of technologies, which give customers options to best fit their needs. With high customer participation, the program builds a network of connected customer devices, creating a Virtual Power Plant (VPP).

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APS Virtual Power Plant

A VPP uses a virtual network of smart home products like thermostats, water heaters and batteries to reduce energy use on Arizona's hottest summer days. These connected products enable customers and APS to reduce energy use on Arizona's hottest days by shifting load and curtailing peak demand.

Cool Rewards. The Cool Rewards program enables customers to participate by allowing their smart thermostats to automatically adjust the temperature in customers’ homes by just a few degrees during a program event day. The program had 83,538 residential smart thermostats enrolled in 2023, with the ability to provide up to 145 megawatts of dispatchable peak capacity to help meet demand for energy on hot summer days. This program is just one of the strategies and innovative solutions for our customers to collaborate with us to reduce carbon emissions to meet our clean energy goals.

We leverage the APS Marketplace to help us scale our Cool Rewards program. The APS Marketplace is an online shopping site where customers can shop for energy efficient or demand -friendly technologies to help customers save energy and manage their energy usage. Customers can directly enroll into certain APS programs with the purchase of their connected device and can also claim rebates for eligible equipment.

Residential Battery Pilot. The Residential Battery Pilot Program encourages customers who adopt energy storage to operate their battery for bill savings and provide peak demand savings value to the energy grid. The pilot has helped us learn about battery performance in a variety of conditions, while providing a mutual benefits to customers managing energy use at their residence while also helping reduce stress on the electric grid. APS will continue to expand and evolve on the existing pilot.

Energy Saving Days. The Energy Saving Days program is a behavioral demand response program that provides valuable energy about 6,000 MWh and peak demand of about a 5.5MW reduction. Throughout the demand response season, participants receive emails before and after each event. Pre-event emails let participants know the date and time of the upcoming Energy Saving Days event, when they should shift or reduce energy usage.

Transportation Electrification

APS is working to support as many as 450,000 electric vehicles (EV) in its service territory by 2030 by focusing on EV education and outreach, fleet electrification, EV grid integration through managed charging, and expanding access to EV charging infrastructure. In addition, APS Cars Marketplace is a resource for customers to compare car models based on fuel efficiency, available incentives, and total cost of ownership. Cars Marketplace is available in Spanish translation which allows more customers to utilize the site to learn about EVs. In addition, customers can use Cars Marketplace to view real-time EV inventory at our local, partner dealerships. In 2023, we launched the APS Fleet Marketplace, which is aimed at helping our business customers understand the costs and benefits of fleet electrification.

Take Charge AZ. Through the Take Charge AZ program we install and owns EV charging equipment at various workplace, fleet and multifamily communities, enabling us to gain knowledge that will help facilitate the electrification of the transportation sector while maintaining grid reliability. As of year-end 2023, we have installed 704 Level 2 (L2) charging ports at customer locations. In addition, APS energized 5 Direct Current Fast Charging sites in the communities of Show Low, Globe, Payson, Prescott and Sedona. While in effect for the majority of 2023 the program was closed to new customers by the Arizona Corporation Commission in December 2023.

  


Learn more about the Transportation Electrification Program.

Green Power Partners

The Green Power Partners  program provides commercial and industrial customers pathways to achieve their unique sustainability goals by receiving renewable energy from utility scale renewable resources. The program demonstrates our shared commitment to a clean energy future for all Arizonians, while providing an economic development tool to attract corporations to our service territory.

Solar Communities

This program makes solar and its clean-energy benefits available to limited- and moderate-income customers, as well as governments, schools and nonprofits. As of year-end, 2023, the program has resulted in the following installations since program inception:

  • 1,013 limited- and moderate-income household installations
  • 18 multifamily systems
  • 23 nonprofits, Title I schools and rural or government buildings

In March 2024, the Arizona Corporation Commission ordered APS not to expand or extend the Solar Communities Program. APS will continue to work on projects in the queue prior to that decision.

Conservation Behavior Programs

The Residential Conservation Behavior program portfolio delivered in partnership with Oracle Opower, is made up of several customer offerings such as Home Energy Reports, plan coaches, Energy Saving Days, and high usage alerts. The behavioral portfolio is intended to motivate participants to reduce and/or shift their home energy usage. This is an important program that provides education and awareness and drives participation in other Demand Side Management (DSM) programs and energy savings opportunities. The conservation behavioral portfolio is responsible for nearly 50 percent of APS's residential DSM annual savings.

Energy Efficiency Programs

APS develops and implements Demand Side Management (DSM) programs and educational outreach efforts that seek to help all customers save on their energy costs, with a focus on helping limited-income customers, nonprofits, small businesses and disadvantaged communities. APS develops and implements many DSM measures focused on providing customers with the tools needed to save energy, reduce peak demand and effectively shift their loads to off-peak hours.

Our portfolio of energy efficiency programs provided approximately 408,644 MWh of energy savings for 2023. That is enough energy to power more than 33,400 typical Arizona households for an entire year. Since 2005, the lifetime energy savings from our energy efficiency programs have avoided approximately 27.5 million metric tons of carbon emissions.

Learn more about our DSM program accomplishments in our 2023 DSM Annual Report.

Weatherization Assistance

We provide funding for limited-income home weatherization in partnership with community action agencies throughout Arizona. This weatherization program enables qualified customers to make their homes more energy efficient. In 2023, APS invested $7.25 million complete limited-income weatherization projects around the state.

Learn more about our weatherization programs.

Recognitions

As we continue to design programs to meet our customers’ needs, we received the following industry awards in 2023:  

  • 2023 ENERGY STAR Award Partner of the Year: Sustained Excellence for excellence, energy efficiency and program delivery.
  • Oracle Energy and Water Strategic Vision Award for demonstrating the ability to foresee trends, needs, or issues pertaining to the utility industry, advancing the industry through the adoption of technology, and delivering successful energy efficiency and demand-side management programs for customers.
  • Association of Edison Illuminating Companies Achievement Award for the APS’s Green Power Partners program as an innovative program for commercial customers to help them achieve their sustainability goals, while ensuring no cost shift for non-participating customers.

Limited Income Offerings

We have assistance programs that provide discounts to qualified limited-income customers as well as programs to help customers stay on top of their bills.

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Crisis Bill Assistance

An unplanned major expense or an unexpected reduction in income can put anybody in a temporary financial bind. Qualified customers can receive up to $1,000 every 12 months to cover current or past-due APS bills through the Crisis Bill Assistance program. We work closely with agency partners to assure that our limited-income customers can participate in programs to assist them in keeping their power on. When customers seek APS crisis bill assistance from these agencies, the agency can also check their eligibility for, and enroll in, the APS customer funded Energy Support programs. The approved annual funding for Crisis Bill Assistance is $2.5 million funded in rates for use in 2023. In addition, APS also provided $1.1 million company funded Crisis Bill Assistance.


APS promotes other forms of assistance that are available to our customers through the State of Arizona such as the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERAP), Homeowners Assistance Fund (HAF) and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance programs (LIHEAP). In 2023, APS customers received $28.2 million in assistance from external assistance programs including ERAP, HAF and LIHEAP. The state's ERAP program ended in 2023, which made LIHEAP the largest external assistance fund for our customers. The state's LIHEAP program provided $13.7 million to APS customers in 2023. APS worked with the state LIHEAP program team and other Arizona utilities to make important updates to the state's LIHEAP online enrollment process that helped our customers ensure they were getting the most assistance that they were eligible to receive when they applied.

Energy Support

Our Energy Support program is funded at $19.4 million annually. It has a deferral for any spending over that where APS can request ACC approval of the deferred funds in a future rate case. The program was recently updated to provide up to 25% or 35%, discount on the energy bills based in household income and family size.

We work with agencies across the state to build awareness of the Energy Support program and they can also directly enroll customers in our limited-income program. In 2023, there were approximately 76,860 customers in the program and the amount customer discounts provided was about $36.9 million. APS continues to auto enroll qualified customers who have been approved for other assistance programs like LIHEAP that are at or below the Energy Support program income requirement. Additional assistance providers have been trained on the APS program and are helping to enroll customers as well.

Healthy Homes Air Conditioning Program

APS continues to partner with the Foundation for Senior Living to offer the Healthy Homes Air Conditioning program. The program was created to eliminate heat-related hazards for vulnerable, low-income household in La Paz, Maricopa, Pinal and Yuma counties. This program provides free repair or replacement of an eligible homeowners’ air conditioning system to the most heat-vulnerable customers in our community, making their homes safer during the summer months.

Project SHARE

Through Project SHARE, our customers can join us in giving back to our communities by making tax-deductible contributions when they pay their monthly energy bill. In addition, we match employee contributions to SHARE dollar-for-dollar. This fund is administered by the Salvation Army who uses the funds to provide utility bill assistance to those in need. In 2023, customers, employees and APS donated close to $405,000 through Project SHARE.

Learn more about our assistance programs.

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