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Update: Additional Texas REPs Suspend Disconnections, Offer Payment Assistance

(Earlier) Direct Energy Extends Hurricane-Related Disconnection Suspensions Through At Least October 2

(Earlier) More Texas REPs Suspend Disconnections, Offer Payment Assistance

TDUs Extend DNP Moratoriums


August 31, 2017

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Copyright 2010-17 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • ring@energychoicematters.com

Update, 9/6:

Champion Energy Services and Hello Energy announced the following measures, including a DNP suspension:

• Suspension of disconnect orders from August 22nd through at least September 30th for customers in affected areas.

• Waiver of all late fees from August 22nd through at least September 30th for customers in affected areas.

• Customer assistance through doubling our matching funds for donations contributed to the Power Partners program September 1st through December 31st. Power Partners is Champion Energy's discretionary bill payment assistance program established to assist customers in times of need.

• Deferral of bill payments over a five month period through September 30th for those customers in impacted areas who inquire.

Update, 9/5:

Direct Energy has extended the relief described below through at least October 2

For both residential and business customers impacted by Hurricane Harvey, Direct Energy said that, at least through October 2, 2017, it is:

• Waiving late charges and fees;

• Suspending power disconnections and collection activities;

• Suspending late payment reporting to credit agencies; and,

• Offering opportunities to arrange a flexible or deferred payment plans.

Direct Energy further committed to the following through at least October 2nd, 2017:

"• We won't charge any late charges. We don't want to add to the financial burden many of you are experiencing during this time."

"• We will not disconnect your power. If your power goes out during this time, you should contact your local utility."

"• We won't report late payments to credit reporting agencies, even if you were behind on your bill before the storm hit. It's hard enough to get back on your feet after a disaster without the additional worry."

"• If you need to arrange a flexible or deferred payment plan, please give us a call and we will work with you to address your specific situation. "

Separately, Ambit announced that it is offering assistance to hurricane victims, including:

• Suspension of disconnections

• Offering extended or special payment options

• Relief on due dates

• Other assistance to aid Customers

Update, 9/1:

Just Energy announced that it is committed to supporting its customers and easing the stress of energy costs by working with each customer individually to find the best way to help them.

"Just Energy will provide direct relief through special payment terms, relief on due dates, suspension of disconnections, and other assistance to enable customers to focus on other critical aspects of rebuilding," the company said

From 8/31:

NRG said in a PUCT filing, concerning customer assistance provided in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, that its Texas retail electric providers will, "halt disconnect notices through September 30th for customers in affected areas."

The NRG retail providers are also providing direct financial relief for customers impacted by Harvey, including payment extensions, late fee and deposit alternatives/waivers, as well as increased funding of the bill payment assistance in the CARE (Community Assistance from Reliant Energy) program.

Reliant, on its website, states, "Through Sept. 30, there will be no disconnections and no deposits required for customers directly impacted by Hurricane Harvey."

Separately, Direct Energy said that it has suspended all disconnection activity for Texas customers impacted by the recent weather events through September 12

Direct Energy is also waiving all late fees and disconnection fees through September 12th.

Direct Energy will work with customers on payment arrangements after that date, including offering new extended payment plans (EXPP) or deferred payment plans (DPP) to customers who are on an existing EXPPs or DPPs but could not make an otherwise required payment under the current terms due to the impact of the hurricane

Separately, TXU Energy announced that it is assisting customers affected by Hurricane Harvey by waiving late fees, extending payment due dates with no down payment required, and reducing down payments and deferring the balances over five equal installments.

The TXU assistance is available until at least September 30.

As noted in our story today, a draft Texas PUC order would require REPs to offer deferred payment plans to customers in affected disaster areas, which would serve to prevent immediate disconnection for non-payment

Multiple Texas REPs have made monetary and/or in-kind donations to relief efforts

Several TDUs have extended their Disconnect for Non-Pay moratoriums as well.

AEP Texas has extended the moratorium for DNPs through Friday, September 1, 2017 for counties in TCC only

Texas-New Mexico Power will reject DNP orders in its Gulf Coast service area through Monday, September 04, 2017 (Brazoria County, Galveston County, Matagorda County)

CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric's DNP moratorium remains in effect

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