‘I’m $1,000 overdue’: Over 200K CPS customers behind on energy bills as disconnections resume

SAN ANTONIO – Nearly 20% of CPS Energy customers have overdue bills, and the total cost of outstanding charges has grown since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.

CPS Energy told KSAT over 200,000 customers are behind on bills with an average outstanding balance of $900.

Deanna Hardwick with CPS Energy said many customers were not paying their electric bills because of the 2020 moratorium during the pandemic and the winter storm surcharge.

“We saw, with high gas prices and extreme heat, many people did experience really high bills this year. And there are folks out there that haven’t paid their bills in over six months,” Hardwick said.

CPS Energy has resumed disconnections unless the customer is on a payment plan.

Jeanette Coates said she had just finished paying off her bill through a payment plan.

“I asked, you know, ‘Is it going to get cut off?’ And they’re like, ‘No, just always pay,’” Coates said.

Another customer KSAT spoke with said she struggles to pay her bill as she pays for surgery and car repairs, but CPS Energy said it would work with her.

“They divided it into 72 payments because I’m $1,000 overdue,” she said.

There is a growing number of customers behind on their energy bills. According to data from CPS Energy, in February 2020, the utility reported $36 million in total outstanding bills, but that number now has risen to $207 million.

Coates encourages other customers to reach out and see what payment plan is the best option.

“They work with you. I mean, it was no hassle. You know, the people are pleasant -- no notices, you know, those pink cards or whatever,” Coates said.

To set up a payment plan, call (210) 353-2222 or visit the website here. To set up a payment plan in person, here is a list of nearby customer service centers.

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About the Author:

Camelia Juarez is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2022. Camelia comes from a station in Lubbock, Texas. Now, she is back in her hometown. She received her degree from Texas State University. In her free time, Camelia enjoys thrifting, roller-skating and spending time with family and friends.