Last Updated on April 7, 2021 by Mary Pressler
Will Your Texas Electric Bill Be Affected by COVID-19?
The uncertainty that has washed over the general public with COVID-19 has been immense. The stressors that surround employment for so many Texans at the moment are daunting.
While there is so much uncertainty with COVID-19 right now, Texas electricity companies are working tirelessly to find solutions for their customers.
As bills keep coming and working hours seem to be shrinking, many people worry about everyday necessities. Naturally, one of those areas of concerns is electric bills.
You may be wondering with all the laws, mandates, regulations, and other motions put into place whether or not your bills will be affected in any way. While most entities have taken some sort of step to help alleviate the pressure caused by COVID-19, you may still be wondering:
Will your electric bill be affected?
Help Options for Texas Electricity Customers
With so many facing financial hardship right now, electric companies have done their due diligence in making adjustments and exceptions on behalf of our Texas customers.
All of the options listed are a result of careful consideration and an effort to level the playing field for all customers right now. We encourage you to work your way down the list. If your family does not meet the criteria for one program, move on to the next option.
We have also curated a short list of practical things that all of us should be doing to conserve energy.
HELP OPTION 1: The Public Utility Commission of Texas: Response and Action Plan
The PUC released a detailed plan of action for electric customers on March 26th, 2020. Providers across the state of Texas have been ordered by The PUC to suspend all disconnections at this time.
The document outlines all protocol for eligibility and process to apply for the following aide with electric companies:
The PUC has ordered the ERCOT grid to suspend disconnections due to non-payment at this time. A relief program named Texas Lifeline has been created for people who are unable to pay their electric bill. Please read the document for full details including how to apply.
HELP OPTION 2: Deferred Payment Energy Plans
Residents living in energy deregulated parts of Texas are eligible to request a deferment on their payment by being put on a payment plan. The process may vary with each electric company.
Payless Power is just one top Texas energy provider that already has a deferred payment plan in place.
Check with your current utility provider to learn more about how to be put on a payment plan or call the guys at Payless to sign up.
HELP OPTION 3: Unemployment and Low-Income Assistance in Texas
If you or someone in your household has faced unemployment or had a severe cut in income due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for further assistance. There must be proof income, job loss, etc. to have evidence of financial hardship.
To read more about how to apply for financial aid in Texas, read the full eligibility and application requirements here.
HELP OPTION 4: United States Stimulus Package Checks
The federal government announced that each American will receive a stimulus package to assist in compensating for financial hardship during COVID-19.
Follow this link so you can know how much money you’ll get and how to carefully plan how to use it. If your family is at risk of running late on your electric bill or already are, then setting your stimulus package aside to catch up on payment is recommended.
Conserve Energy at Home to Save Money on Your Light Bill
This may seem obvious, but there are always areas to improve in when it comes to energy conservation. These small, but consistent changes make a large dent in lowering your electric bill.
Consider making these energy saving changes while stuck at home:
- Wash laundry less often by wearing clothing multiple times before washing.
- Dry clothing on a line or drying rack.
- Switch to windows at the cooler parts of the day and conserve A/C.
- Minimize the use of your oven by switching to an air fryer or slow cooker.
- Turn lights and TVs off when you leave a room for an extended amount of time.
- Consider using low-voltage lamps and/or candles rather than overhead lighting.
We’ll Keep the Lights On, Texas
We love Texas and we truly care about our customers. Texans are resilient and we believe that we will all come out on the other side of COVID-19 with the strength we will need to press on into a new normalcy. Don’t forget to check out the official press release by the PUC so that you can assess your eligibility according to where you live in the great state of Texas.
Not lucky enough to be Texan? Research your state’s recent assessment of COVID-19 and how your local electric company is helping. Chances are that your local electric companies are advocating for you and doing their best to extend a helping hand.
– Mikaela Delia for Quick Electricity