The San Antonio utility offer several programs to help you lower your electricity bill.
SAN ANTONIO, Texas — CPS Energy offers several ways to help customers reduce and pay for high bills.
Stop high bills before they start by getting an alert early.
High bill alerts: Get a notification when your bill is 20% higher than the same time last year. This will allow you to adjust how much power you use.
“We know there’s a lot going on right now in the economy and the earlier that you know that your bill is getting higher, you can take steps to help improve that,” said DeAnne Hardwick, executive vice president of customer strategy at CPS Energy .
The notifications will come by email. You must call customer service at 210-353-2222 to sign up for the alerts.
Budget Payment Plans: This helps you avoid unexpected, high bills during the year. Sign up to get a fixed amount monthly bill based on your previous usage.
“That way you know what to expect every single month,” Hardwick said.
Note: After 12 months, your actual usage will be calculated. You will then either owe money or get a credit. Normally customers must be current on their bills to qualify for the program but CPS Energy is allowing all customers regardless of payment status to sign up for the program at this time. Overdue balances can be incorporated into the monthly payment plan.
Wi-Fi Thermostat Reward: Replace your thermostat with a Wi-Fi thermostat and CPS Energy will give you a one-time $85 bill credit. Then sign up to allow CPS Energy to remotely raise your thermostat a few degrees on peak demand days. You will get a $30 credit annually for participating.
“If we can do that remotely to help keep the usage down, it also helps keep your bill down,” Hardwick said.
You must opt into this program. CPS Energy will not adjust your thermostat without your permission. You can also opt of participating in a peak demand days by manually adjusting your thermostat or through the thermostat’s app. You must have a qualifying Wi-Fi thermostat.
Assistance Programs: These will pay a portion of your bill. There are qualifications for these programs based on income, job status, age health, and disability.
American Rescue Plan Act Assistance: You must apply for this program. This program helps low-income customers impacted by COVID-19 with utility payments. It is for past due bills incurred from March 1, 2020 to September 20, 2021. You must be able to show proof of hardship because of COVID-19 and be enrolled in an affordability or payment plan.
Affordability Discount Program: This program gives qualifying customers a monthly discount on their bill. The program was recently expanded. Customers must be at or below 125% of the federal poverty guidelines and be one of the following: A senior citizen, disabled, use life-sustaining medical equipment, have children under 18 in the home, or have extenuating circumstances as determined by CPS Energy or the City of San Antonio.
REAP or Residential Energy Assistance Partnership: Qualifying customers can get assistance with their energy bill up to two times a year up to $400 total. You must have an income at or below 125% of the federal poverty line. You must also be one of the following: A senior citizen, disabled, have small children in your home, or use critical care equipment. Plus, you must live in San Antonio or Bexar County.
Senior Citizen Billing Program: This program allows seniors more time to pay their energy bill. Qualifying seniors will have 25 days to pay their bill instead of the normal 16 days. To qualify, the account holder must be 60 or older. This program can only apply to the senior’s principal residence.
Senior Citizen Late Fee Waiver: This program waives late charges for seniors. The account holder must be 60 or older to qualify and have an income of 125% of the federal poverty guideline.
Disabled Citizens’ Billing Program: Disabled customers on Supplemental Security Income are given additional time to pay their energy bills. Qualifying customers have 25 days to pay their monthly bill rather than the normal 16 days. You must be on Supplemental Security Income and be the account holder to qualify. It can only apply to the home you currently live in.
Critical Care Program: This is for people who must use electrically operated medical equipment. It gives customers more time to pay their bills. You must have your doctor complete the critical care application.
Burned Veterans’ Discount: This helps those who have served and are unable to regulate their core body temperature because of severe burns received in combat. You can get up to $94 a month off your electric bill April through October.
STEP or Save Now, Save for Tomorrow Energy Plan: This program offers several rebates to save energy and money. It includes rebates for:
Casa Verde Weatherization Program: Income-qualifying homeowners and renters can reduce energy costs with free energy efficiency programs. Upgrades can include attic insulation, wall insulation, air-sealing measures, replacing light bulbs with LED bulbs, and duct sealing. The program is free if you qualify. Customers must meet income guidelines and the home must also meet guidelines.
- Close blinds and curtains.
- Make sure ceiling fans are running counterclockwise for cooling.
- Set pool pumps to run early morning or overnight. Shut them off from 2 pm to 7 pm
- Unplug any unused electronics and appliances.
- Air dry laundry.
- Cook with crockpots, toaster ovens, or grills.
- Replace air filters monthly.
- Keep your thermostat at 78 degrees. Use fans to make the room feel cooler. Turn fans off when you leave the room.
- Take shorter, cooler showers.
- Wash laundry in cold water.
CPS Energy said reach out if you are struggling with high bills.
“We can work with any customer,” Hardwick said. “The biggest thing we want to do is take every step we can help customers get ahead of their bills and get in a place they don’t have to worry about power.”
Call customer service at 210-353-2222 or go to any CPS Energy walk-in center to sign up for these programs.