The Texas Public Utility Commission allowed a moratorium to expire on Friday that prevented utility companies from shutting off service for late payments.
The moratorium was put in place after February’s winter storm that left millions without power for days and is to blame for at least 151 deaths, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, commissioners heard from multiple callers who asked for more time to recover from utility bills incurred during the storm.
“I believe that the emergency provisions, the emergency orders need to be lifted. In my view, the emergency has passed,” Commissioner Will McAdams said. “We need a catalyst in the market to break this logjam to get people contacting the reps and again, from the dais, I would urge every consumer subject to a disconnect moratorium to contact their rep and ask for a deferred payment plan.”
McAdams said utility providers are required to offer the deferred payment option for up to five billing cycles.
This is a developing story and will be updated.