4 Solutions When You Can’t Pay Your Bill
Whether it’s the new energy crisis or the Big Texas Freeze that made you fall behind on your energy bills, you’re not alone. The weather’s still hot, and energy rates are still high. And growing inflation means that it’s getting harder and harder to pay all our bills on time. Luckily, not all hope is lost. Even if you don’t have a cheap electric plan yet, these 4 tips can help you pay your bill.
1. Talk to Your Provider
If you can’t pay your electric bill, talk to your energy provider. They may offer you an extension, payment plan, or deferral.
Your provider may also waive late penalty fees if you’re on SNAP or Medicaid. And if you’re just signing up, asking to waive or split deposit payments into two can also help your budget.
2. Conserve Electricity
One of the best ways to keep your electric bill low is to be smart about your usage. There are plenty of cheaper options to cool your home other than an AC. But, if you need it, easy AC maintenance can keep ensure energy-efficient performance.
Keeping windows closed, lights off, and unused appliances unplugged are other easy ways to keep electricity usage to a minimum.
3. Apply for Aid to Pay Your Bill
In July, the Texas Utility Help program offered a $50 million fund to help struggling households pay their electric bills in the summer. Unfortunately, applications were shut down less than 2 weeks in due to high demand. But, you can apply for other Texas-based aid programs.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federal aid. It helps 6 million American households pay their gas, heating, and electric bills (but not water). Last year, Texas received $283.9 million as part of LIHEAP until September 2022. In Texas, LIHEAP is often called CEAP (Comprehensinve Energy Assistance Program).
The more weather-proof your house is, the lower your heating and cooling costs will be. That’s why the Department of Energy set up the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). This fund helps low-income households fund home-improvement projects.
You can apply to both of these progmrams in Texas through this government website.
4. Find a Better Plan
If your electricity bill is unusually high, make sure that you’re still on a plan. Once your plan term ends, your energy provider may automatically switch you to a variable rate month-to-month plan–which is usually more expensive.
You have the power to choose the best electric plan for your household.
Shop the cheapest electric plans in Texas by visiting https://www.texaselectricityratings.com/. You can compare the rates, and choose the one that gives you the best deal.