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Austin Energy assistance programs.

Austin Energy offers low-income customers help with paying bills, access to financial assistance programs as well as payments plans. There are also free government programs including weatherization, LIHEAP (CEAP) grant money to pay electric bills and other support. Find help with paying an Austin Energy bill.

The company offers help to the low-income, seniors, single moms and disabled among others in the Austin TX area. There are emergency hardship funds to pay utility bills and also conserve energy. There are also referrals to budgeting billing, CEAP low income government hardship grants, free window programs for a home  and other resources. The goal is to offer immediate financial assistance at the same time as ensuring people have longer term conservation measures in place. Learn more on resources to help with Austin Energy Bills below and how to apply.

Payment programs and hardship grants from Austin Energy

The options listed below can provide qualified customers the opportunity to pay off a past due utility or cooling bill. There is also emergency financial help to keep air conditioning on during the summer or pay winter heating costs in Austin TX. A variety of programs are offered.

  • This will help customers keep their account in good standing to ensure that someone's service is not turned off, in particular during the hot summer months in Texas and the city of Austin. What will happen is any past amount owed on your account will be spread out over a specified period of time, and the customer will need to pay these bills in a monthly installment.

As part of the Austin Energy payment arrangement entered into with Austin Energy, the customer will be required to pay the agreed upon monthly installment. That amount due will be in addition to paying their current, monthly utility charges in full. So customers need to pay the arrears, current bills as well as past due amounts.

Flexible payment arrangements for Austin Energy bills can also be made available to qualified individuals and families. The total past due amount owed on your utility bills will help determine the length of a payment arrangement that the company may offer. One of the nice features of this option is that there is no limit to the number of arrangements available or that can be entered into as long as the customer keeps up with paying their bills.

 

 

 

While a payment arrangement option is made available by Austin Energy to any eligible customer, it will depend on the status of their account. What this means is that if a customer failed to complete a prior payment arrangement with the utility company, or if the customer has fallen behind on their agreement or had returned payment items such as returned checks, the customer may need to bring their account current before applying for another arrangement. So the terms of any program need to be adhered too.

Also get your fees reduced or waived. The City of Austin may offer this assistance for low and fixed income customers. People who are faced with an emergency can explore this option for their account.

Several different fees can be reduced or credited. They include the list below. Each may have its own qualifications and conditions that need to be met, so call to learn more.

  • A waiver on your water revenue stability fee. This will also include a limited fee waiver of the customer sewer and/or waste water service charge.
  • The customer electric service can be waived by a small dollar amount to make the payment more affordable.
  • A per month fee waiver of the customer sewer and/or waste water service charge.
  • Receive up to a 50% reduction on your residential City of Austin Drainage fee.
  • Also a small dollar amount per month waiver of the transportation user fee for those who do not drive or own a vehicle, or who are at least 65 years of age.
  • In some cases, a struggling family in Travis County / Austin can receive a reduced CAP fuel charge on your electric use.

The City of Austin Customer Assistance Program, when combined with LIHEAP / CEAP,  is for those who are undergoing financial difficulty. It is paid for by customer donations as well as federal funds, and every dollar donated goes towards helping your neighbors and others across Austin pay their utilities. You can contribute by adding funds to your monthly payment, or by calling Austin energy. Or apply to CEAP by contacting the company or you local community action agency.

Individuals with a medical condition may be able to receive support from a program known as the Medically Vulnerable. City of Austin residents with a critical illness, long-term disease, or serious ailment may be able to qualify for financial assistance. Individuals may be able to access personal case management from Austin Energy and partnering social service agencies, such as a community action agency. Also receive more time paying your cooling and utility bills. More on Texas CEAP applications for energy bills.

 

 

 

 

Free Austin Energy weatherization and conservation programs

Free home-energy improvements are offered by Austin Energy to low and moderate income customers. There is both a local program as well as weatherization, which is federal government supported. These improvements enhance comfort and also reduce energy costs. They will pay for installation, and provide materials including weather stripping around doors and windows, attic insulation, caulking around plumbing penetrations, and minor duct sealing and repairs.

In order to receive the weatherization improvements, customers will need to occupy the home they want weatherized. The customer also needs to provide documentation to verify disability status or income for everyone 18 and older who lives in the home.

Discount and bill reduction programs

The Customer Assistance Discount Program is available across Travis County and the service area. It is Austin Energy's most widely used assistance program. It is offered for customers and families who are already receiving benefits from state of Texas, federal government or some other state assistance program. Thousands of local families use the service. Discounts available include the following:

  • Drainage Fee 50% discount
  • Electric Service Customer Charge waiver
  • Discount on your total electrical usage
  • Water Tiered Fixed Charge waiver
  • Discount on your community benefit charge
  • Transportation User Fee waiver. This is available to those City of Austin utility account holders who do not own or drive a vehicle, or who are at least 65.
  • Water Service Customer Charge waive, which will also account for the volume of the water used. Or look here for other ways to get temporary help paying water bills.
  • Wastewater Service Customer Charge waiver

The Financial Support Plus 1 Program is offered by Austin Energy for customers with extreme hardships such as a medical emergency or an an unexpected job loss. Finds are applied to electricity or other applicable utility costs. The Plus 1 Program is paid for by customer donations, and every dollar donated goes towards helping your neighbors and others across Austin Texas. You can contribute funds to the Plus 1 Program by adding money to your monthly payment.

Individuals with a medical condition may be able to receive additional support from a program known as the Medically Vulnerable Registry. The City of Austin offers the Medically Vulnerable Registry for customers with a long-term disease, chronic illness, or ailment. Eligible customers should join the registry in order to receive additional time to pay their bills plus one-on-one case management.

The Budget Billing, or average program, is open to all people in the service territory, regardless of how high or low their income is. It will level set the amount of someone's monthly utility bill, as it averages the bill out over a period it time. It will ensure customers do not have large fluctuations in their monthly energy expenses. Dial (512) 494-9400 to apply for any of the services mentioned above.

Another Low-Income Discount is in effect, which will waive the $6 service charge for customers with persons living in the household who receive City of Austin Medical Assistance Program (MAP), SSI, or help from the Aged, Blind and Disabled Medicaid. Also receive a 50% reduction on your residential City of Austin Drainage fee.

 

 

 

Applications and Austin Energy phone numbers

To apply for a payment arrangement or to learn about financial help for paying utility bills, call the Austin Energy Customer Care Contact Center. They can walk you through the process, review your account, and advise you of your options. Call (512) 494-9400.

 

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By Jon McNamara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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