As the people of Southeast Texas return to their homes and assess the damage from Harvey, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) has taken steps to help those directly impacted. On August 31, the PUCT passed emergency order #47552 requiring Retail Electric Providers to offer deferred payment plans to customers, by request, in areas covered by a disaster proclamation until September 29, 2017.
This PUCT order is in response to Governor Abbott’s disaster declaration on August 23rd for those in the path of Hurricane Harvey and those impacted by the resulting floods. The 30 county region impacted includes Aransas, Austin, Bee, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, Brazoria, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Harris, Jackson, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Liberty, Live Oak, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria, Waller, Wharton, and Wilson counties.
In addition to offering deferred payment plans, the order requires utilities to use their best efforts to estimate reduced electricity usage and expedite ‘move-ins’ and ‘move-outs’ for those establishing service in new locations.
Texas Retail Electric Providers Offer Support
Retail electricity provider’s have stepped up to assist customers. For customer’s adversely affected by Hurricane Harvey, electricity providers are offering during the month of September:
- Deferred payment plans (customer must request)
- No late charges
- Waiving deposits for new service
- Suspending disconnects
The following links outline the details of certain Texas electricity provider’s commitment to helping the residents of SE Texas recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey.
All Texas electricity providers are working hard to assist customers in need, organizing fundraising drives, and volunteering in their local communities as a result of Hurricane Harvey. If you have a specific donation or are interested in helping the recovery efforts, see each provider’s site for more information.
Outage Statuses and Other Electricity Needs
In a disaster such as Harvey, your first point of contact for electricity is your local utility that maintains your poles and wires in your neighborhood. Among other things, your local utility is responsible for home and neighborhood outage repairs, specific home activations after flood waters recede, and transmission line repairs between locations. Also note that the local utility must abide by local city and county mandates on an as-needed basis, such as the temporary deactivations of some Houston neighborhoods to comply with mandatory evacuation orders.
For outage trackers, website information, and phone numbers, see your utility for more information:
Meter Reading Accuracy
Another section of the PUCT’s emergency order addresses meter reading accuracy. In areas that have functioning smart meters, the data from those smart meters should continue to be used for accurate billing. However, in areas where smart meters are damaged or that are not served by smart meters, utilities are directed to use their best efforts in estimating electricity usage while taking into account the reduced consumption due to the hurricane.
For billing questions that result from meter reading estimates, please contact your electricity provider.
Need To Select a New Electricity Plan?
ElectricityPlans.com has you covered. Use the site search tools to easily narrow down the best plan for you. Whether it’s Texas prepaid electricity, short-term plans, or free nights and weekends electricity plans, we have an excellent selection of plans and providers to choose from.
Want help with your decision? ElectricityPlans.com offers PlanScan, a personal shopping tool exclusively for Texas electricity customers. Fill out and submit the PlanScan form and we narrow down the choices to help you decide which electricity plan to choose.