Message from the CEO | Protecting Employees, Customers & Communities | Supporting Customers Facing Financial Hardship | Pandemic Response Timeline

Updated: October 2021

People around the world continue to grapple with the effects and uncertainty of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Our focus at Pinnacle West is on ensuring the health and safety of our employees, contractors and the general public by helping limit spread of this virus and ensuring continued, safe and reliable electric service for customers of our Arizona Public Service subsidiary.

We do not expect this situation to cause any disruption in providing power to APS customers. As a regulated provider of a critical service to our communities, APS’s governance practices include long-standing crisis and business continuity plans that are routinely reviewed and practiced in various drills to address situations such as this.

Protecting Employees, Customers & Communities

We continue working to limit exposure to the virus and to help slow its spread following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization and any protocols put in place in states and areas where we operate. These are some of the measures we have taken:

  • The company is actively participating with industry groups, including Edison Electric Institute, and the Arizona Emergency Operations Center to coordinate, share learnings and emerging best practices, and advocate on behalf of our stakeholders in response processes. We are also participating in Arizona Corporation Commission activities centered on COVID-19, including the special open meeting that was held to discuss utilities’ preparedness plans.
  • We have implemented rigorous hygiene measures and strict social distancing. All employees who do not have a critical need to be at company facilities must work remotely. Those whose jobs are essential to grid and power plant operations and can only be performed on-site are taking measures to maintain physical distancing.
  • We’re maintaining a COVID-19 online resource center for our employees and implemented an employee hotline, providing guidance should employees experience virus symptoms or be presumed positive for the virus.
  • We have identified business-critical positions in both our operations and support organizations and identified backup personnel who can provide support if needed to maintain operations with a reduced workforce.
  • We have increased monitoring of our supply markets and impacts to the supply chain. Our suppliers are largely domestic, but we leverage a global supply chain, ensuring multiple sources of supply for vital materials. We currently do not foresee critical shortages that would impact our ability to serve our customers’ needs.
  • We have canceled all work-related travel, including travel between company facilities without special permission and critical business need.
  • We have extremely limited visitor access to our sites.
  • Cyber criminals are trying to exploit the current fear and uncertainty, so we are providing employees with tips to help them recognize and avoid scams.

Supporting Customers Facing Financial Hardship

To date, the company has committed more than $15 million to assist customers and communities with the impacts of COVID-19. To assist APS customers impacted by COVID-19, that subsidiary has taken the following actions:

  • We suspended shutting off power to customers for non-payment in mid-March. In mid-September, we extended that hold on disconnects through the end of 2020.
  • We are waiving late fees.
  • We set up a Customer Support Fund for those who needed assistance paying their bill in 2020. Both residential and small-business customers who were past due on their APS bill qualified for the fund if they had unexpected loss of income, higher medical or childcare expenses, or other financial hardship created by the COVID-19 virus.
  • We wrote to customers letting them know what we are doing for them in this time of uncertainty.
  • With many customers working from home or home with kids at this time, we provided tips that can help them save on their bill.
  • We set up extended payment plans for customers with past due balances, giving them more time to bring their accounts current.

While this situation continues to evolve, our focus will remain on keeping our employees safe, and keeping the power on for APS customers and the communities we serve.

Pandemic Response Timeline

March 11, 2020

World Health Organization characterizes COVID-19 as a global pandemic



March 13, 2020

APS suspends power disconnects for non-payment and waives late fees; begins restricting business travel; employees who can work from home begin telecommuting



March 18, 2020

APS launches Customer Support Fund, which provides bill credit to residential and small business customers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19



March 25, 2020

APS pledges initial $1 million to help nonprofit agencies with their COVID-19 response; includes $250,000 for small business relief grants and training on the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program



March 30, 2020

APS contributes $250,000 to the Arizona Coronavirus Relief Fund, supporting organizations working to mitigate the impact of COVID-19

March 31, 2020
Arizona Executive Order Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected becomes effective through April 30



April 1, 2020

APS and other Arizona owners of the Four Corners Power Plant provide $250,000 to support the Navajo Nation’s COVID-19 response work



April 2, 2020

APS begins to offer COVID-19 testing to operations-essential employees



April 9, 2020

APS extends work from home policy and business travel restrictions through June 1



April 13, 2020

APS begins requiring employees to wear face masks when six feet of physical distance from other employees cannot be maintained inside APS facilities

April 29, 2020

Governor Ducey extends Arizona Executive Order Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected through May 14



May 5, 2020

Arizona Corporation Commission approves APS application to refund $36 million in funds previously collected for energy efficiency programs to customers on June 2020 bills


APS commits additional $5.3 million to customer support programs



May 6, 2020

APS donates $50,000 to The Hopi Tribe’s emergency relief efforts



May 13, 2020

APS extends work from home policy through July 31

May 15, 2020

Arizona Executive Order Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected expires



June 15, 2020

APS expands Customer Support Fund to assist more customers, including raising bill relief for eligible small business customers


June 17, 2020

Governor Ducey allows local governments to set their own rules on the use of face masks



June 25, 2020

APS extends work from home policy through September 8

June 29, 2020

Arizona Executive Order Pausing of Arizona’s Reopening stops operations at select establishments for at least 30 days; Arizona Executive Order Protecting Public Health for Students and Teachers delays in-person school start dates until August 17



July 1, 2020

APS extends business travel restrictions through the end of 2020



July 30, 2020

APS extends work from home policy through the end of 2020



September 15, 2020

APS extends hold on disconnects for past due bills through 2020; late fees will continue to be waived during this time



November 17, 2020

APS extends work from home policy for current remote workers for the foreseeable future


December 10, 2020

Arizona Corporation Commission passes a discount and payment program for electric customers behind on their bills due to the pandemic



 December 2020 - Spring 2021

APS essential workers among Phase 1B for the COVID-19 vaccine




 January 2021

APS provides additional support to customers in need, including more time to pay past-due bills in 2021




August 2021

APS presents Arizona State University with its inaugural APS Arizona Partner Award  for its COVID-19 testing during pandemic




October 2021

APS, other utilities partner with Arizona Department of Economic Security to deliver $36 million in utility assistance to customers in need


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