The Public Service Commission of Texas (PUC) announced that it will issue a moratorium so that electric companies do not disconnect citizens from the networks for non-payment, given that many face bills they cannot bear after the winter storm storm. , reported Greg Abbott, Republican governor of that state.
“Texans who have experienced very cold days without power shouldn’t be subject to skyrocketing energy bills,” Abbott said.
Storm order and COVID-19
In this way, the PUC held an emergency meeting on Sunday and indicated that, in addition to the payment moratorium order, it will continue with the deferred payment plan due to the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 for customers who do so. request.
“Our highest priority as a commission and as a state is to protect customers from the devastating effects of a storm that affected their power supply,” said DeAnn Walker, president of the PUC.
In addition to this, Abbott explained that customers whose electricity bills soared last week during the storm and demand skyrocketed, would be protected from “unreasonable” bills.
On the other hand, according to the governor, addressing those bills and the failure of the electricity grid are priorities for the state, adding that he will not allow the legislative session to end without guaranteeing protections for energy during peak demand, in summer and winter.
15,000 Texans without electricity
Regarding the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), he stated that “we will not end this session until ERCOT is fully winterized, so we will not go through this again.”
It should be noted that ERCOT manages the state’s energy and is operating at full capacity again, although more than 15,000 Texans remain without electricity, as of this morning, following data from PowerOutage.us.
From another perspective, US President Joe Biden declared last Saturday the biggest disaster in Texas, due to the winter storm, and ordered federal agencies to help in the recovery of the state.
Water is another dilemma
Due to the winter storm in Texas, many people continue without drinking water; Therefore, it was recommended to boil the liquid for the population, since it was not safe to drink, confirmed Toby Baker, executive director of the state Commission on Environmental Quality, in a press conference on Sunday.
In this sense, almost 3.5 million bottles of water were distributed by helicopter, plane and truck throughout the state, according to its governor.
Support for Texans
In turn, by the weekend nearly 90,000 Texans had requested disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
It is important to add that the measure offers not only public assistance to the counties to recover infrastructure, but also support to people who suffered damage to their homes that are not covered by insurance companies and for risk mitigation.