(April 3, 2020)
On March 26, the Texas Public Utility Commission announced its COVID-19 Emergency Relief Plan in response to the spread of coronavirus. This plan will provide aid to Texas utility customers who are experiencing financial difficulties stemming directly from the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 has brought with it a lot of uncertainty for many Texas families. This emergency fund is intended to help with utility bills. Following is a breakdown of how the PUC emergency fund functions and who it will impact.
Water utility customers
The commission has ordered a suspension of all disconnections due to non-payment. This applies for customers of all PUC-regulated water and sewer utilities in Texas.
For all electricity consumers outside of the deregulated market, the PUC has ordered suspensions of all disconnections for non-payment. This applies specifically for Entergy, El Paso Electric, SPS, and SWEPCO electric customers.
For Texans living in deregulated areas, the PUC’s COVID-19 Electricity Relief Plan is in effect. Under this plan, all Retail Electric Providers (REPs) must:
- Offer a deferred payment plan immediately to any residential customer who requests one
- Suspend all disconnections for residential energy customers who are on the state’s unemployment and low-income records due to COVID-19.