AUSTIN (KXAN) — As Austinites continue to recover from the historic winter storms two weeks ago, city council approved several measures Thursday aimed at giving customers some added relief with their utilities.
At times during the storm, when the most significant outages were happening, more than 200,000 of Austin Energy’s approximately 430,000 residential customers were without power. To help those customers, the council approved a measure that would give a $10 credit to every Austin Energy customer on their first bill after March 19.
Additionally, the council passed another item which will waive the $20 new service initiation fees for customers relocating or establishing new service due to damage from the storm between Feb. 15 and April 3.
In addition to the efforts to mitigate the financial impacts of the storm, the council also authorized Austin Energy and Austin Water to provide $5 million each (for a total of $10 million) for Austin Plus 1 financial assistance program to assist people who need financial relief due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding levels for the Plus 1 program increased one month into the pandemic and the city says those dollars have helped nearly 16,000 residents with $11.7 million in assistance for utility bills.
The city has also temporarily suspended late fees beginning Feb. 12 for all City of Austin bills to residential customers. The suspension of late fees will continue through March 31, 2021.
Customers impacted by COVID-19 can apply for help at http://AustinBillHelp.com or call 512-494-9400. City of Austin utility customers are encouraged to closely review their utility bills, log onto their account at COAUtilities.com,