City Council earmarks $30 million from ARPA for new utility assistance program
SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — The San Antonio City Council voted to earmark $30 million from American Rescue Plan Act funding to help offset overdue utility bills.
The council voted to create a new utility assistance program with $20 million allocated for CPS Energy customers and $10 million for San Antonio Water System customers.
“The American Rescue Plan Act funds provide the City with the opportunity to address immediate community needs like utility assistance. This much-needed program will help residents in San Antonio recover at a faster pace from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said City Manager Erik Walsh. “To ensure that eligible residents receive funds for assistance with their utility bills, they should register now for affordability and payment programs at SAWS and CPS Energy.”
Eligible customers can receive up to $1,000 for CPS bills and up to $700 for SAWS bills.
The utility assistance program will administer the funds to eligible customers with past due bills incurred from March 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021. Customers must show proof of hardship due to COVID-19, provide documentation of household income, and must already be enrolled in CPS and/or SAWS affordability or payment plan programs.
“SAWS has been at the forefront in assisting customers through the pandemic,” said Robert R. Puente, President/CEO of San Antonio Water System. “These ARPA funds will further extend financial assistance to our customers trying to catch up on bills. We appreciate the city setting aside these funds to help our customers with the greatest financial need.”
CPS Customers who wish to utilize the new program can apply online in English and Spanish as well as in person at any walk-in center or community event.
SAWS Customers can apply online and by phone at 210-704-SAWS.
“CPS Energy thanks the San Antonio City Council on their approval of ARPA funds to help our customers most in need,” said Rudy D. Garza, Interim President & CEO of CPS Energy. “We encourage customers to call (210) 353-6110 for more information about how they can get connected to these ARPA funds that have been allocated to assist with their utility bills. We’re committed to helping all of our customers with payment plans and access to this additional assistance.”