Updated February 28, 2021
FEMA DISASTER ASSISTANCE: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has recently determined your address falls within a natural disaster zone which makes you eligible for assistance. Learn more about FEMA and individual assistance at https://www.disasterassistance.gov. Before applying for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, insured Texans should first follow these steps to begin the recovery process.
- Step One: Take photos of your damaged home and belongings.
- Step Two: Make a list of damaged/lost items.
- Step Three: Save yourself time. If you have insurance, you must file a claim with your insurance company. If you do not have insurance, continue to Step Four.
- Step Four: Now that you’re ready to apply for disaster assistance, please go to https://www.disasterassistance.gov/ for more information on the types of assistance available.
We know that many of our customers and Texans across the state are faced with extreme challenges due to power outages. We love each one of you and we hear you loud and clear! Texas has issued a statewide Disaster Declaration for all counties. The following key points are of great importance:
Did Payless Power shut my power off in the middle of this extreme weather event?
- Payless Power did not and will not initiate disconnect orders between the dates of 2/13/2021 and 2/28/2021 (maybe even longer). If you have experienced a sudden loss of power during this time period, then it is because of blackouts or power outages in your area.
Why have I been charged for electricity service on days when my service was offline due to outages & blackouts?
- Payless Power’s billing mechanisms are automatic. Your account may be billed for usage based on an estimated read that ERCOT & the Transmission and Distribution Utilities (TDU) provide to Payless Power. We understand this is confusing. Many of our customers have not had power for hours or even days, so why would there be charges? Please rest assured that our systems will automatically true up your account when we receive the actual read for the day that was estimated. If waiting for our system to true up your account has caused a financial hardship and you need help, then please call us because we have options to assist you. We ask that you please be patient when calling because call times may be longer than normal, as our entire team and systems are working overtime.
I’ve heard news stories about electric bills that are thousands of dollars. How could that be?
- Payless Power does not, will not, and has never sold indexed pricing plans. Competitors in Texas sold an INDEXED & VARIABLE price plan designed to pass on the Real-Time-Wholesale costs to consumers, which was very reckless. This Real-Time price is set in the load-balancing-wholesale-market. Payless Power and other well run Retail Electric Providers buy only a fraction of their electricity in this market, which is why it is not impacting more than 99% of consumers in Texas. An indexed plan can vary every 15 minutes and with enormous swings that range up to $9.00 per kilowatt hour, which is up to 75 times the average rate a Texan paid last year. Payless Power works hard to protect our customers from this wild volatility and would never expose our customers directly to Real-Time-Wholesale market prices.
I’m on a month-to-month & variable price plan. Should I be worried about my rate going up?
- No because Payless Power did not raise your rates during the storm and will not increase your rate at this time. Payless Power is here to stand side by side with all Texans through this extremely challenging time. We love Texas and are Texans working for Texans!
If rates were not increased, then why is my bill so high?
- Due to the extreme cold, the heaters in our homes worked over time to keep those of us with power warm. In the summer time, your air conditioner works to bring temperatures to a typical 70 to 72 degrees in your home. If it is 100 degrees outside, then the system must make up the 28 to 30 degree difference. During this cold snap, your heater worked to bring your home to the same typical 70-72 degrees in your home. If it was 0-10 degrees outside, then your heater had to make up the 60-72 degree difference. This results in very high usage. If this very high usage has caused you financial hardship, then please call because we have options to assist you.
HOW TO REDUCE OR CONSERVE ELECTRICITY DURING AN ENERGY CRISIS
Your fellow Texans need your help to conserve power and assist in avoiding more massive power outages. Please consider the following in your home to conserve power and lower your energy costs:
- Turn down your thermostat to 68 degrees.
- Keep lights off when not in a room.
- Unplug appliances not in use.
- Avoid using large appliances like washing machines, esp. during peak times. Peak times are between the hours of 6AM and 11AM. Then again between 5PM and 10PM.
- Close off heat escape routes like drafty doors or fireplace dampers (when not in use).
- Set your ceiling fan to rotate clockwise to force warm air downwards.
- Close blinds and shades at night to keep out cold air. Open them during the day to allow sunshine in.
POWER OUTAGE FACTS AND INFORMATION
There are approximately 12.5 million homes in Texas that are connected to the grid. At peak, 4.4 million homes were (many homes are still) without power due to massive blackouts and outages. You may verify the current number of people without power at https://poweroutage.us/area/state/texas. There are numerous causes to the power outages and unfortunately, Payless Power has zero control over when the power plants and transmission lines are repaired. The duty to produce and deliver power falls on the generators that are managed by ERCOT and the Transmission and Distribution Utilities (TDU). This does not mean that we do not take serving you, our customers, very seriously. We are doing everything we can to help get answers and serve you. Below are the sites and twitter links to learn about the latest information about the outages. ERCOT, on a recent call, said that “Texas power grid operators cannot predict when outages might be over.” This means that power could be restored in hours, but it could take days in many cases.
ERCOT – Electric Reliability Council of Texas
TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION
- ONCOR – Serving DFW as well as most of North Texas.
- CENTERPOINT – Serving Houston and the surrounding areas.
- AEP Texas – Serving South Texas and the surrounding areas.
NOTABLE NEWS ARTICLES AND TWITTER ACCOUNTS