Utility’s proactive outreach has connected customers with $30 million in assistance
July 28, 2021 (San Antonio) – After what will be a year and a half of suspending service disconnections for nonpayment, CPS Energy will resume normal collection activities in September of this year beginning with large and industrial commercial customers. Residential customers will not start being affected until October.
As of June 30, 2021, about 85 percent of the utility’s commercial customers are current on their bills, while four out of five residential customers are current as well.
- 83,587 residential accounts are past due, and 70,288 accounts are eligible for disconnection for a total combined amount of $92.5 million in delinquent accounts.
- The average residential account that is past due has an outstanding balance of $602.
- 8,823 commercial accounts are past due, and 4,135 accounts are eligible for disconnection for a total combined amount of $18.3 million in delinquent accounts.
In March of 2020, CPS Energy suspended service disconnections for customers as the Greater San Antonio community banded together to work through the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the suspension of service disconnections, the utility also waived late fees for customers who participated in a payment plan.
In June of 2020, the utility started proactively contacting customers through its Customer Outreach Resource Effort (CORE), an initiative designed to check on customers’ wellbeing and make them aware of bill assistance and other resources to help them through the pandemic. Through this effort, CPS Energy’s CORE team has connected customers to more than $31 million in payment assistance as of July 26, 2021.
“We’re doing all we can to prevent customers from being disconnected. Nobody has to be disconnected if they will just call us to work through their specific situations,” said Rudy Garza, CPS Energy’s Chief Customer & Stakeholder Engagement Officer. “In addition to the tens of millions of dollars in federal and other assistance we have connected our customers with, we will continue to work with customers by means of payment arrangements as we always have in the past. We are committed to helping our community as we return to normal operations.”
Customers are eligible for disconnection anytime between 42 to 64 days after their bill is issued. The phased in approach of resuming disconnects for nonpayment of past due bills is as follows:
- September 2021
- large commercial customers
- October 2021
- small and medium business customers
- residential customers who are:
- past due,
- are not on any assistance programs,
- have not made any payment, and
- haven’t answered our calls to provide assistance
- December 2021
- no disconnections during the holidays, per normal business operations
- January 2022
- residential customers enrolled in assistance programs; also, reinstatement of late fees for all customers will begin. Until January, late fees will continue to be waived for customers who set up payment plans.
Additionally, CPS Energy continues to protect customers from the financial impacts of the systemic failure that occurred during the February 2021 declared Texas weather disaster. The utility is tirelessly pursuing all policy, regulatory, financial, and legal actions to prevent the passing on of excessive, unlawful, and illegitimate charges to customers.
For customers seeking assistance with current bills, CPS Energy has a variety of money-saving and general assistance programs designed to help customers who are experiencing hardship. For a program list, visit www.cpsenergy.com/assistance or call 210-353-2222 to speak to an Energy Advisor.
About CPS Energy
Established in 1860, CPS Energy is the nation’s largest public power, natural gas, and electric company, providing safe, reliable, and competitively-priced service to more than 884,811 electric and 366,709 natural gas customers in San Antonio and portions of seven adjoining counties. Our customers’ combined energy bills rank among the lowest of the nation’s 20 largest cities – while generating $8 billion in revenue for the City of San Antonio for more than seven decades. As a trusted and strong community partner, we continuously focus on job creation, economic development, and educational investment. True to our People First philosophy, we are powered by our skilled workforce, whose commitment to the community is demonstrated through our employees’ volunteerism in giving back to our city and programs aimed at bringing value to our customers. CPS Energy is among the top public power wind energy buyers in the nation and number one in Texas for solar generation.