AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday announced the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) has halted power disconnections due to non-payments and restricted electric companies from sending “skyrocketing” invoices at this time.
Abbott said the PUCT issued the moratorium after holding an emergency meeting on Sunday regarding high energy costs that many residents are seeing following devastating winter storms last week.READ MORE: Kaufman County Deputy On Administrative Leave Pending Investigation Into Handling Of Troubled Teen
“The Texas Public Utility Commission called an emergency meeting today to issue a moratorium on customer disconnections for non-payment. They are also going to restrict electric providers from sending customer invoices at this time,” Abbott said during a news conference. “And this pause will give them time to address the electric and power billing challenges that Texans are seeing.”
Winter storms wreaked havoc across the state and caused massive power outages that lasted days for many residents. After power was restored by Friday for a majority of those affected, residents are now facing spikes in their energy bills.READ MORE: Big Rig Driver Dies After Losing Control, Striking Bottom Of Bridge Off Tollway In Plano
One Dallas resident, DeAndre Upshaw, told CNN on Saturday that he received a nearly $7,000 bill from his utility company, Griddy.
Abbott held an emergency meeting with Legislature on Saturday to address the spikes in costs. Although no formal action was taken, the Texas officials discussed plans on how to solve the billing issues. According to the governor, they talked about needing to calculate the total cost of the energy bills and find a way to reduce the burden.MORE NEWS: Gov. Abbott's New Executive Order Limits Local Leaders' Response To COVID-19 In Texas
“The issue with utility bills and the skyrocketing prices that so many homeowners and renters are facing is the top priority for the Texas Legislature right now… yesterday through today, they’ve been working around the clock on solutions. That’s exactly why the Public Utility Commission put a halt on any further increases,” Abbott said.