SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — The Public Utility Commission of Texas announced today that a moratorium on utility disconnections will end on June 19.
The moratorium has been in place since February 21 following an unprecedented winter freeze and applied to electricity, water and sewer customers served by investor-owned utilities.
“This is not an easy decision and it was not taken lightly,” PUC Chairman Peter Lake said. “But by acting now, customers will be able to take advantage of deferred payment plans or federal assistance ahead of the summer season.”
On June 19, retail electric providers, as well as water and sewer utilities, will begin issuing disconnection warnings to customers who have past due accounts that will be in danger of having service terminated. PUC rules say disconnection notices trigger a 10-day warning to arrange for payment.
June 29 will be the first day that disconnections will be legally allowed by eligible utility providers.
“Given the unprecedented level of available resources, there is no better time than the present for a customer to secure the financial assistance they need to pay their utility bills,” PUC Commissioner Will McAdams said. “This decision is best for them and best for the continued financial health of the companies that serve them.”
PUC said there are a variety of resources available for affected customers: The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affair offers assistance programs for renters and homeowners, your local community assistance agencies, contacting 211 Texas, contacting your local utility to discuss a payment plan or deferred payments.
PUC said these orders do not apply to municipally-owned utilities, like CPS Energy and NBU, and electric cooperatives.