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Utility Service After Disaster

Disaster Relief

Utility access and help with bills after a disaster

This article was written by Texas RioGrande Legal Aid.

How can I find out if the power is out in my area?

Check the Texas Public Utility Commission’s links to utility outage maps. Note: The PUC does not regulate cable TV, phone service (including mobile), water, or natural gas. Contact your provider.

Can I defer payment for my electricity bill?

When the governor declares a disaster area, PUC rules require electric companies to offer a deferred payment plan and inform you about it (even if you already have one). Call your utility company directly and ask. If they won’t defer, call the PUC at 1-888-782-8477 to file a complaint, or email customer@puc.texas.gov. State that you are a disaster survivor in the subject line.

Electric Company

Waiver of Late Fees/Deposit Until

Contact Number

TXU

September 30, 2017

1-800-242-9113

Reliant

September 30, 2017

713-207-7777 or 1-866-222-7100.

Discount Power

September 30, 2017

713-423-6970

Entrust Energy

September 5, 2017

800-871-8100

CenterPoint Energy (HTX)

September 30, 2017

713-207-2222; 1-800-332-7143

Texas New Mexico Power

888-866-7456 option 2

AEP

1-866-223-8508

Direct Energy

October 2, 2017

1-855-200-3748

Victoria Electric Coop

361-573-2428

Champion Energy

September 30, 2017

1-877-653-5090

Nueces Electric Cooperative

1-800-632-9288

Will I be charged for temporary disconnection/reconnection?

Fees for disconnection and reconnection are waived where needed in order to repair structures damaged by the disaster.

We weren’t using electricity due to evacuation. Why does my bill look high?

Electric providers can base your bill on estimated use; this should be noted on your bill. Look at the PUC’s information page
about charges on your electric bill. Ask your utility company to give you accurate billing information rather than estimated use.

What if I can’t pay in person/by mail?

If you are in a declared disaster area, fees for online payment or by phone are waived. If you usually pay by mail, check the USPS website for service disruption alerts and to see if your post office is open. Or, sign up for the USPS hold mail service. Contact the USPS at 1-800-275-8777.

Can I get help paying my electric bill?

Maybe. It depends on your eligibility and available resources. Contact the Texas Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or one of these organizations:

Organization

Counties Served

Phone

Nueces Co. Community Action Agency

Nueces

361-883-7201

Galveston Co. Community Action

Council

Galveston and Wharton

409-765-7878

Catholic Charities

Harris, Galveston

1.866.649.5862

Fort Bend Co. Social Services

Fort Bend

281-238-3502

Baker-Ripley

Harris

713-667.9400

Crisis Assistance Center

Montgomery

936-539-9211

Community Action Corp. of South Texas

Aransas, Brooks, Duval, Jim Hogg, Nueces, Starr, Willacy, Bee,

Cameron, Hidalgo, Jim Wells, Kleberg, San Patricio, Webb, Zapata

361-664-0145

Community Action Council of South Central Texas

Atascosa, Bandera, Comal, Dimmit, Edwards, Frio, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Kinney, LaSalle, Live Oak, Maverick, McMullen, Medina, Real, Uvalde, Val Verde, Wilson,

and Zavala

830-303-4376

Community Action Committee of

Victoria

Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Gonzales, Jackson, Lavaca, Victoria

361-578-2989