Working Directly with a Retail Electric Provider
Customers having trouble paying their electric bill should contact their electric provider to learn what options are available. A customer’s Retail Electric Provider (REP) (the company that sends their electric bill each month) may be able to help customers with a deferred payment plan or other flexible payment arrangement, which can reduce the burden for households facing difficult financial times by spreading balances out over time. The REP may have other options to help as well. Customers served by electric co-ops, municipally-owned utilities and vertically-integrated utilities should also contact their providers for available options.
Finding Bill Payment Assistance Through 2-1-1
If customers need assistance paying their electricity bill, they can call 2-1-1 or visit 211texas.org and search for ‘Electricity Bill Assistance’ to find programs in their area. The 2-1-1 database is extensive, and can help connect customers in need with multiple organizations that may be able to help.
Applying for Special Designation for Certain Medical Circumstances
The PUC allows customers to request designation as “critical care” or “chronic condition,” with the approval of a physician. The designations afford certain special treatment regarding disconnection of service. To qualify, there must be a person with a physician-diagnosed serious medical condition in the home that is dependent upon: a) an electric-powered medical device to sustain life; or b) an electric-powered medical device or electric heating or cooling to prevent impairment of a major life function. The application form is ultimately submitted to the Transmission & Distribution utility, and can be found here: https://www.puc.texas.gov/industry/electric/forms/critical/ccform.pdf.