CPS Energy customers sign up for programs to lower bills

Block by block, CPS Energy employees are knocking on the doors of hundreds of homes within our community to make sure our customers know about two important resources that can either wipe out past due bills or lower future ones. Recently, the City of San Antonio and CPS Energy finalized the details to make $20 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds available to CPS Energy customers who live within the city limits and to cover past due bills incurred from March 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021. Depending on a customer’s income level, ARPA funds could cover up to the entire past due amount of outstanding energy bills. Since the middle of February over $726,000 dollars from the ARPA Program have already been applied to CPS Energy bills.

Eli Munoz with the Customer Response Unit walks a neighborhood to promote ADP and ARPA.

The second resource is CPS Energy’s existing Affordability Discount Program (ADP), which annually serves about 51,000 customers. As part of the recent rate case approval, we committed to increasing the discount from $12.30 to $16.14, and to add about 14,000 new customers to the program. And, we’re keeping our promise.

Along with block walking, more than several thousand door hangers have been distributed in targeted areas where CPS Energy has identified community members with a higher energy burden.

Churches and other community spaces have opened their doors and offered their locations, so customers don’t have to travel far to receive one-on-one assistance and complete the ADP or ARPA application. The operating hours at CPS Energy Customer Service Centers have been extended on Wednesdays from 7:45 a.m. until 6:45 p.m.  

Qualifying customers that are already part of energy conservation programs such as Casa Verde or enroll in ARPA are also being auto enrolled for the ADP program.   

Our community outreach is already paying off, with nearly 6,000 additional customers recently enrolled in ADP since City Council approved the rate increase.

“We are in a full court press to get the word out and directly sign up customers for assistance,” said Executive Vice President of Customer Strategy Deanna Hardwick. “No customer needs to be disconnected. If anyone is concerned about the amount they owe, they can visit our customer centers or attend our community events. We can find a solution and a plan to fit any budget.”

Since 2018 close to $34 million in ADP discounts have been applied to customer bills. Last year alone, over $6.8 million was discounted from energy bills.

CPS Energy is not alone in the goal to expand ADP to a total of 65,000 customers by this summer.  CPS Energy agreed to memorandum of understandings (MOUs) with local city agencies such as the San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) to allow us to auto-enroll their own customers as well.

“Eliminating the stress of past due utility payments will provide relief for our families who have had to overcome many challenges throughout the pandemic,” said SAHA Chief Operating Officer Brandee Perez. “We’re grateful for partners like CPS Energy who help prioritize financial assistance for our most vulnerable families in our community.”

Francis Vega, a Bilingual Energy Advisor, helps a customer who attended the Sonny Melendrez Community Center.

“We understand the importance of partnerships to make sure customers are enrolled in our programs so they can get the help they need. We are working to connect with and serve families and businesses. Together, with our partners, we are getting the job done,” added Hardwick.

Many community events have already taken place with more added weekly to assist qualifying customers with ARPA funds or enroll them in ADP. Scheduled events for the next 30 days are as follows:

Monday, April 11, 2022 from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Council District 6
Levi Strauss Trailhead
6100 Enrique M. Barrera Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78227

Wednesday, April 13, 2022 from 3:00 – 6:00p.m.
Council District 7
Woodlawn Lake Park
1103 Cincinnati Ave, San Antonio TX 78201

Tuesday, April 19, 2022 from 3:00 – 6:00p.m.
Council District 9
San Antonio First Church
10715 West Ave, San Antonio TX 78213

Thursday, April 21, 2022 from 3:00 – 6:00p.m.
Council District 2
Second Baptist Church
3310 E. Commerce St, San Antonio TX  78220

Tuesday, April 26, 2022 from 3:00 – 6:00p.m.
Council District 8
Our Savior Lutheran Church
11503 Vance Jackson Rd, San Antonio TX 78230

Friday, April 29, 2022 from 3:00 – 6:00p.m.
Council District 9
Churchill Baptist Church
12400 Vista View Street, San Antonio TX 78231

Tuesday, May 3, 2022 from 3:00 – 6:00p.m.
Council District 5          
St. Alphonsus Church     
1202 S. Zarzamora St, San Antonio TX 78207

Customers can visit cpsenergy.com/events to keep updated on additional future events. To learn more about assistance programs and apply online by visiting https://www.cpsenergy.com/assistance. To speak to an Energy Advisor, call 210-353-2222.