COVID-19 Electricity Relief program in Texas
Are you a resident of Texas and having trouble paying your electric bill due to the COVID-19 virus? If so, and if you meet a few minimum requirements, then you could be able to qualify for the Texas COVID-19 Electricity Relief program. After qualifying, you will be able to either defer your electricity payment for a certain amount of time or get direct financial relief from a State of Texas social services agency.
Important Facts to Know
First off, it’s best to know the essential facts, like how to protect yourself from getting the virus in the first place, what to do if you become sick, and how to get more information about qualifying for the COVID-19 Electricity Relief program.
In order to avoid becoming ill with the virus, be sure to practice social distancing and proper personal hygiene at all times. Further, if you do become ill, keep track of all your symptoms and contact a medical provider by phone if those symptoms become severe. For details about staying well and getting medical assistance, visit the official U.S. Centers for Disease Control website at:
How to Qualify
The Public Utility Commission of Texas has set up the COVID-19 Electricity Relief Plan in order to assist people who are having trouble paying their electric bills. Keep in mind that the Commission does not enroll you in the program. You need to do that yourself.
There are three ways you can take advantage of the relief plan:
1) Sign up for deferred electricity payments.
2) Receive direct financial assistance from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a federal government program.
3) Get referred to a State of Texas social services agency who might be able to help you with your bill.
It seems complicated but it really is easy to enroll. Here’s what to know:
- You need to be having financial difficulty paying your electricity bill due to the COVID-19 health crisis
- You can opt for a deferred payment plan at https://www.txcovid19erp.org/ or by calling the State of Texas Low Income List Administrator(LILA) call center at 1-866-454-8387
- In order to qualify for deferred payments, you’ll also need to be currently getting Medicaid, Unemployment, or supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funding
- To learn more about direct U.S. Government payments via the CARES Act, visit https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know
- To get help from a Texas-based social service agency, visit https://www.211texas.org/ or call 211 directly from your phone
- There is no guarantee that you will qualify for deferred payments, receive a CARES Act check, or get financial assistance from a state agency, but you won’t know what is available to you unless you check out the resources for yourself
It’s also important to remember that different electricity providers offer varying arrangements when it comes to deferred payment plans. For example, Acacia Energy, Now Power Texas, and SNAP Energy Latino, as well as many other electricity providers, all participate in the program.
Even if you are unable to qualify, for whatever reason, for deferred payments, it’s still possible to receive a direct payment from the U.S. Treasury through the CARES Act or to get some sort of help from a state-based social service agency through the 211Texas.Org program.