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The Texas Public Utility Commission is hitting pause on disconnecting customers for not paying their bills following the winter storm that left some with electricity bills in the thousands, Gov. Greg Abbott said Sunday.
“The Public Utilities Commission is issuing a moratorium on customer disconnections for non payment,” Abbott said at a news conference in San Antonio. “They are also going to restrict electric providers from sending customers the skyrocketing invoices at this time.”
Abbott said the commission held an emergency meeting Sunday. Lawmakers, including North Texas Republicans Sen. Jane Nelson, Sen. Kelly Hancock and Rep. Craig Goldman, met with Abbott on Saturday to discuss addressing spikes in energy bills.
“The issue about utility bills and the skyrocketing prices that so many homeowners and renters are facing is the top priority for the Texas Legislature right now,” Abbott says.Abbott has issued emergency items related to the freezing temperatures and corresponding power outages that dragged on for many Texans starting early in the morning on Feb. 15.
He’s called for reforms to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state’s electric grid and is overseen by the PUC. Abbott is also pressing legislators to pass bills mandating the weatherization of power generators and funding for weatherization.
“We will not end this session until the state of Texas and all of its power generation capabilities is fully winterized so we never go through this again,” Abbott said.