With Texas ERP Gone, How Do You Pay For Electricity?
From March to September of this year, the Electricity Relief Program (ERP) reduced the threat of electricity shut offs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that the program has expired, the 620,000 Texans receiving assistance wonder how they will pay for electricity. While these customers still face back-due payments, many retail electricity providers have yet to resume shutoffs and are willing to negotiate payment plans.
Texas Electricity Still Isn’t Free
The utility assistance measures related to COVID-19 never made electricity free. The ERP program and the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) directive for Texas electricity providers to set up deferred payment plans upon request never forgave electricity bills. ERP is over, but PUCT still expects retail electricity providers to work with you by offering you a deferred payment plan.
How to Set Up a Deferred Payment Plan
Setting up a deferred payment plan with your retail electricity provider starts with a phone call. When you call your light company, be ready to discuss what you can pay each month. Then, you and the company representative work to an agreement on how much you will pay each month toward your past due amount. It really is that simple. You keep up your end of the deal, and your lights stay on while you chip away at your balance. Of course, be sure to keep up with your electricity bill moving forward.
Reach Out To Community Resources
Perhaps a deferred payment plan isn’t enough to get you through your current financial hardship. You can also turn to local community resources that provide utility assistance. These community agencies work with Texas retail electricity providers and they can help you secure the help you need.
Even though the Texas ERP program is gone, some federal programs still have money for utility assistance to low-income households. To tap into those funds, contact your local community action agency.
Look For A New Light Company
If you’ve been frustrated by how your current electricity company has handled the pandemic, it might be time to give another company a try. Shop for Texas electricity at http://www.texaselectricityratings.com to see how much money a new light company can save you. You’ll never know unless you look!