Let us “fix” your bill with Budget Payment Plan

By on March 24, 2015

Life at times can feel like a balancing act. Between work, family, and finances, it can sometimes be all too overwhelming. And, who likes to think about the budget?

We understand. That’s why we developed the Budget Payment Plan (BPP) to provide our customers some certainty when it comes to their monthly energy bill.  It’s a plan where you know the exact amount to pay every month.

Here’s a quick look at how it works:

We add up the past 12 months of your energy bills and divide it by 12 to come out with an average. The average becomes the new “fixed” amount the customer will pay for the next 12 months. At the end of the 12-month period, customers either receive a credit if they used less energy than they paid for, or receive a bill for any additional usage.

That same energy use information for the previous 12 months is used to calculate a new average. The new monthly average could be lower or higher depending on the customer’s energy consumption. That new amount is then used to bill for the year going forward, with the process repeating itself every year on the customer’s BPP anniversary date.

For example:

If my average BPP amount is $150 every month, but my actual energy was only $140 each month then that’s a difference of $10 a month or a credit of $120 for that year! Then the following year the new average would be about $140.

On the opposite side, if my actual energy use is $160 then I used $10 more on average per month than the year before and I would be billed $120 at the end of my 12-month period. So, the more energy you use the higher your monthly bill average come the following year. Obviously, that would encourage you to be mindful of your energy use while on the BPP, motivating you to proactively use energy efficiency tips to better manage your bill.

Happy customers

Pat Banda, a CPS Energy representative for 18 years, has helped many of our customers get started on the Budget Payment Plan. “Over the years I have signed up hundreds of customers who have enjoyed being on the BPP. The fixed amount is perfect for them because they are either on a fixed income or they just prefer to know exactly what they need to pay without thinking about it. Most of our BPP customers have been on the plan for years!”

No more surprises 

“If you don’t like the weather in San Antonio, just wait a few minutes.”  It’s a popular quote because our area is known for wild weather that can change at a moment’s notice. Huge temperature swings, like those experienced this winter, can mean larger energy bills. Being on the Budget Payment Plan means you avoid sticker shock, especially when temperatures are all over the place (or cray cray!) Because of the known monthly bill amount, many also choose to be on AutoPay, eliminating one more bill to worry about taking care of monthly.

Is the BPP right for you? More than 32,000 customers say it’s perfect for them and have chosen the program. If you want to stop playing guessing games with your monthly energy bills, call customer service at 210-353-2222 and let them fix you up.

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This Post Has 8 Comments
  1. Michael Fischer on said:

    I started averaging last year. At the end of the year, I did receive a refund, but my bill still went up. This seems a little off. Why not add the over payment into the next years average? In other words, if my average is $10.00 a month lower than the previous year, take the $120.00 and after averaging for the past year, divide the $120.00 by 12, subtract it from the average. That would make the customers bill $10.00 less per month than the way you figure it now.

    • Christine Patmon on said:

      Hi Michael… most customers want a refund of any overpayment they have made on their bills. But we certainly understand your request. Another option for you would be to have the refund credited to your account, which might (depending on your average bill amount) put you in a position of skipping a month’s payment. That would be nice, too! Thanks for being a Budget Payment Plan customer.

  2. Jaime Morales on said:

    Your not offering us anything because if we use more then you bill us. Most people will think well I paid so I can use as much energy as I want but you will clip them in the end. I will cont. to get ripped off thru out the year.

  3. Yvonne Casanova on said:

    Hi Jaime,

    We all have to pay for the energy that we consume.This is similar to paying for gasoline for your car. The difference is the gas station does not let you use the gas and then come back and pay. With energy we get to use the power and then pay. If you use less energy than what you’re paying for, you can always have a refund credited to your account. We’re happy to answer any other questions, you may have. ~Yvonne, CPS Energy Corporate Communications

  4. PJ on said:

    It would be helpful if you would explain the terms that a customer will see on an actual BPP section of a bill: Previous BPP Balance, Current BPP Adjustment, and Current BPP Balance. Does it mean that a customer will end up owing CPS at the end of 12 months if either BPP Balance is a negative number? Similarly will there be a credit to the account if the BPP Balances are positive? Thanks for the clarification.

    • Albert on said:

      Hi Pj,

      The answer is yes and yes. If a customer uses more energy and is billed at a flat rate that does not cover all costs, then yes, the customer will owe the difference. However, the difference is added to the next year’s average to come up with a new flat amount. Now if the customer uses less energy than the flat amount…let’s say the consumption is only $50 and the BPP is $100, then the customers has a $50 credit. The credit sits on the account and is used to pay the bill until the credit runs out. I hope this helps answer your questions. If you need more info, please email me at ascantu@cpsenergy.com.

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