utility assistance

Millions of Relief Money Available for Texas Utility Customers; ‘Act Now,' Says Atmos

ERCOT GRID POWER
NBC 5 News

Texans struggling with past due or high electric and gas bills may qualify for up to thousands of dollars of relief aid if they act now.

Atmos Energy is urging customers in need to reach out to their utility provider and apply for the ‘Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program.’

The program has been around for decades, but millions of additional federal dollars are now available through COVID-relief funding.

“We know there’s a need out there,” said Faye Kinner, manager of customer advocacy for Atmos Energy. “We know families are struggling to pay their current and past due charges and so we really encourage them to reach out if they are struggling. Reach out to your utility provider so we can point you in the direction of the resources you need.”

Time is also of the essence, Kinner said.

Millions of dollars in funding expires at the end of September.

“These funds expire at the end of September and so we really want to encourage customers to act now,” she said.

All utility customers can apply.

Traditional income qualifications have also loosened because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Even if they haven’t been eligible before, they may be eligible now and it’s to help you with all of your utility bills,” Kinner said.

Eligible customers could receive thousands of dollars in relief money for utility bills.

“It can really make a difference and it can be for both recurring and your past due charges,” said Kinner. “As we head into the cooler months and we head toward winter, we want to make sure our customers are up to date with their natural gas bill.”

Kinner says customers should call customer service, inform them they are struggling, and point them in the right direction for the program.

This includes Atmos and electricity providers like TXU and Reliant, she said.

The customer service number for ATMOS is 888-286-6700.

For information on income limits for the Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP), visit the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs website.

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