SAN ANTONIO – CPS Energy customers could once again have their water or power shut off for non-payment. This comes after a year-and-a-half of holds placed on service disconnection in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since then, the number of customers behind on their payments has increased. Now they’re at risk of losing service unless they can start making good on their past-due accounts.
As the utility moves forward with disconnections, some local leaders say there are a lot of people still struggling to catch up.
Jasmine Hamilton-Franks, a CPS customer, says she got her notice and understands CPS means business.
“It’s been hard, but we have to understand that we’re still living in a pandemic. When they say that disconnection notices are coming out starting October, they meant that,” said Hamilton-Franks.
Hamilton-Franks is one of many trying to keep the lights on. She like many others took advantage of a utility assistance fair hosted by District 2 Councilman Jalen Mckee-Rodriguez. Franks agrees with the councilman who has said he opposes the disconnections. She says disconnections may be more of a problem than a solution.
“If they start to cut the cut in people’s waters, then lights off, what are we going to do about the kids? The grandkids, you know, our food going spoiled. I mean, we’re going to just create more issues and more problems for the community,” said Hamilton-Franks.
CPS Energy, along with District 2, says they will continue to offer opportunities for folks who have received the notice or are on a deadline to make proper arrangements.
“So please know that if you did not hear about it this time, we are definitely going to put boots on the ground to make sure that we offer more time and offer it to individuals on a wider spectrum,” said Marie Naranjo, director of constituent services.
District 2 leaders say they will be sending out teams on the ground to various neighborhoods in an effort of reaching out to as many households as possible who may not have access to technology and informing them of the resources available for help.