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PNM extends deadline to apply for electric bill assistance

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There are now 40,000 customers in the state behind on payments for their electric bills and Public Service Company of New Mexico has announced it’s extending the deadline for a financial relief program that helps families, small businesses, and nonprofits who are struggling to pay.

Those late payments total more than $13 million dollars past-due according to PNM spokesperson Shannon Jackson. The utility started the COVID Customer Relief Fund in 2020, which is funded by shareholders, and so far, 7,000 customers have been approved for assistance. Residential customers can receive up to $200, and small businesses and nonprofits can receive up to $500. The funding was due to expire last month, but PNM has now extended it through March 31. Jackson said customers can get help through the COVID relief fund or a range or other programs.

“If you’re a renter, if you get low-income assistance through a federal program, we look at all of those different things and we apply as much possible help to your account as we can to try to either pay down or pay off any past due balances that you might have," said Jackson.

Applications for electricity bill assistance are available in English and Spanish, and PNM has Spanish speaking customer service representatives as well.

Find a complete list of eligibility requirements and to apply online.

En Nuevo Mexico hay 40,000 clientes atrasados en sus facturas de electricidad, con un total de más de $13 millones de dólares atrasados según la vocera de PNM, Shannon Jackson.

Para ayudar a las personas a pagar sus facturas atrasadas, la compañía inició un fondo de ayuda para clientes o el “PNM COVID Customer Relief Fund” en 2020. Hasta ahora, 7,000 clientes han sido aprobados para recibir asistencia a través del programa, que es financiado por sus accionistas.

Los clientes residenciales pueden recibir hasta $200 a través del fondo, y las pequeñas empresas y organizaciones sin fines de lucro pueden recibir hasta $500.

El programa se acaba de extender hasta el 31 de marzo de este año. Jackson dijo que los clientes pueden obtener ayuda a través del fondo de COVID o por medio de una gama de otras programas de asistencia.

Las solicitudes de asistencia con la factura de electricidad están disponibles en inglés y español. Tambien existen representantes de servicio al cliente que hablan español.

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Yasmin Khan covers worker's rights in New Mexico, with a focus on Spanish-speaking residents. She is finishing her Ph.D. in human geography and women & gender studies at the University of Toronto where she studies refugee and humanitarian aid dynamics in Bangladesh. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from UNM. Yasmin was director of The Americas Program, an online U.S. foreign policy magazine based in Mexico City, and was a freelance journalist in Bolivia. She covered culture, immigration, and higher education for the Santa Fe New Mexican and city news for the Albuquerque Journal.