SAN ANTONIO – CPS Energy customers are not expected to see huge additional fuel or purchased power charges from the winter storm when the February 2021 bills are released beginning Monday, the utility said Friday.
“CPS Energy is currently assessing the validity of the additional fuel and purchased power costs from the winter storm and is currently not passing them through to customers,” a news release said.
CPS Energy CEO Paula Gold-Williams told trustees during a special meeting Monday afternoon that CPS is “accumulating” costs, but she estimated natural gas suppliers want $800 million for fuel they sold CPS during the crisis, and the state’s power grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), wants an extra $200 million. Gold-Williams said CPS would pursue regulatory assistance and help from elected officials to avoid customers shouldering that load.
The utility suspended billing for customers on Feb. 19 to confirm that energy bills did not, at this time, include any rate changes or fuel adjustment costs related to the winter storm, and to ensure that billed usage is based on actual meter reads and not estimations.
Electronic and paper bills will begin to be released on Monday. Depending on a customer’s billing cycle, it could take until Saturday, March 13, for a customer’s delayed bill to be sent. As a result, customers may receive their February bill close to their March bill.
The utility said a team of energy advisors is ready to work with customers to discuss their bills and to help with payment arrangements. No late fees will be charged to customers for their February bills or in the case of a customer being on a payment plan, the news release said.
The utility said it is also reviewing the accounts of customers who were most impacted by the February 2021 extreme winter storm and expects to provide helpful credits in those cases. The company’s credit plan will be announced in the next 30 to 45 days.
“We know our community is concerned about their bills, and we want them to know we’re here to help and protect them. We are assuring customers that their February bills are accurate and do not currently include any extreme weather-related fuel & purchased power expenses,” Gold-Williams said. “While we must and will pay all justified and legitimate business costs, our CPS Energy team will continue to fight to maintain our commitment to affordability.”
AutoPay was reinstated on Feb. 26. Customers wishing to stop automatic payments can cancel AutoPay through Manage My Account or by calling the utility at 210-353-6110.