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Corporation Commission monitoring Arizona's 300 utilities

Posted at 3:18 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-28 01:27:39-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — The Arizona Corporation Commission has been meeting regularly about the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting with its first meeting on March 16, the focus has been on maintaining service from the state's 300 utilities, while assisting those who are struggling to pay their utility bills.

"We had this meeting to talk to our utilities about their crisis management during this issue," explained Commissioner Lea Marquez Peterson. "Insuring that it's safe and reliable."

A fixture in the Tucson business community, Marquez Peterson was appointed to the Corporation Commission last May by Governor Doug Ducey.

She is the only commissioner not from Maricopa County, and wants to reassure Southern Arizonans that our utilities are dependable.

"People might take it for granted that they flip the switch and the light turns on and the water comes on when you turn the faucet. These are essential services. We're feeling very positive about the reaction and response from our utilities."

Marquez Peterson says telecom companies are providing free public WiFi in some areas, and also offering special reduced rates for installing WiFi in homes of low income families.

Utilities are also committing to no disconnections or late fees over the next 60 days -- as part of Governor Ducey's electric utility relief package.

She has advice to those who might me struggling financially.

"I'd encourage them to reach out to the resources that are there by calling 211 or going to arizonatogether.org. Or reach out directly to the utility and talk about a flexible payment plans. I know a lot of utilities are working with families on."

Marquez Peterson has compiled a list of important information for those impacted by the COVID-19 virus on the Arizona Corporation Commission website.