Texas Energy Efficiency
Entergy Texas offers programs to help with energy bills
Beaumont, Texas – Following the holiday season and as cold, wintry weather settles in, many Texans find themselves facing tough financial situations. Entergy Texas, Inc. is offering help to customers whose income may be stretched.
Approximately 20 to 25 percent of Entergy’s 2.7 million customers need government assistance to survive. The latest poverty report released by the U. S. Census showed that the number of Americans living in poverty was the highest since 1997. The four states that Entergy serves were in the top 10 with the highest statewide poverty rates. Texas ranked ninth.
Various state and federal programs are available to help customers manage their bills. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides money to help individuals with energy bills and other energy-related expenses. LIHEAP is funded through the federal government and works with the community action agencies to help customers pay for and keep electric service in their homes. Both homeowner and renter households are eligible to receive LIHEAP assistance. The household’s annual income must be at or below 200 percent of federal poverty level. Energy costs must also be documented.
“We have a number of customer assistance opportunities available to our customers,” said Vernon Pierce, customer service director, Entergy Texas, Inc. “We encourage our customers to contact us, or charitable, nonprofit agencies in their communities that have programs to help with energy bills, as soon as they think they could have a problem paying their electricity bills. It is easier for the customers to get help before their past-due balance becomes too large.”
Entergy Texas’ Power to Care fund helps low-income, elderly or disabled customers pay their energy bills in times of financial distress. Entergy employees and customers donate to The Power to Care, with company shareholders matching new contributions up to $500,000 annually.
The company works with 16 agencies in Texas to distribute these funds. Inquiries on applying for The Power to Care should be directed to one of those agencies. A list is available by going to entergy-texas.com, My Home, Need Help Paying Your Bill.
A donation to The Power to Care is a small thing people can do to make a big difference in someone else’s life. Donations may be made by checking a box to add a dollar to the monthly bill, or online through the secure Web site at entergy-texas.com.
To help manage payments, Entergy Texas provides payment extensions and payment plans for qualified customers having difficulty paying their bills. Additionally, the company can help customers avoid disconnections and the fees and deposits that often are required to restore service.
In addition, customers with incomes less than 125 percent of the federal poverty level qualify for the Public Benefit Fund credit. Entergy Texas automatically enrolls residents who already receive state Lonestar benefits, in conjunction with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. For customers who may not be receiving state benefits, Entergy Texas can them apply if they will call the company at 1-800-ENTERGY 1-800-ENTERGY .
To help manage bill payments, Entergy Texas offers these programs:
Pick-A-Date – Only customers know the best time to pay their bill each month. With Pick-A-Date, they may be able to select the date each month when their electric bill is due.
Level Billing – The Level Billing option allows customers to pay about the same amount for electric service every month, making it easier to budget and plan for this cost, regardless of the season and usage. Under this program, each bill is essentially an average of 12 months of previous bills. Bills will vary each month, but not as much as before.
Automatic Monthly Payments – Automatic Monthly Payments allows Entergy Texas to automatically deduct the amount of the monthly electric bill from a checking account. Customers don’t have to worry about bills, due dates or late fees when they enroll in this option. A statement—not a bill— will be mailed each month, showing the amount of the bill and the date of withdrawal.
Energy efficiency programs are available as well. These programs help reduce energy usage without sacrificing comfort. Customers can find answers to energy-related topics, including what goes into energy costs and what Entergy Texas is doing to ensure affordable energy, at EntergyAnswers.com. The Web site also offers easy-to-use tips to help customers lower their energy bills.
My Account Online also allows customers to view and pay their bill, view their billing and payment history and update account information – all with a few clicks of a computer mouse.
“The programs and plans mentioned above, and more, are available to customers at entergy-texas.com, or by calling 1-800-ENTERGY 1-800-ENTERGY ,” added Pierce.
Entergy Texas, Inc. provides electricity to more than 400,000 customers in 27 counties. It is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation. Entergy is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $13 billion and approximately 14,700 employees.