Gonzales residents may be paying utility bills from the February Winter Storm into 2024.
According to a press release from the City of Gonzales, the city has secured an agreement with its energy providers, AEP and LCRA, to spread charges resulting from increased electric usage out and “minimize the average monthly increases” to residential utility bills starting with March 2021.
“During the multi-day weather event, the City of Gonzales was able to sustain power and did not experience a collapse in electric service,” the press release reads. “However, due to significantly increased usage, residents will incur an increase to their electric utility bill.”
The approximate winter storm increases, on average per household, per month, are estimated to cost the average household a combined additional $38 per month through July 2021, when the amount owed to AEP will be paid in full. After that is paid, the increase will be reduced to an approximate $18 per household per month through May of 2024 to pay the LCRA bill.
City Manager Tim Patek said this decision was made in order to reduce the burden on the community and its residents.
“The average household within the city limits of Gonzales incurred an additional $748 in electric service charges during the winter storm,” the press release reads. “The City of Gonzales chose not to reconcile these charges within the normal 30-day window from the time of usage; and instead, worked with the service providers to reach an agreement that would decrease the monthly burden on the residents.”
Overage charges due to AEP and LCRA were close to $2.2 million. However, the city did receive a credit of $259,121.91 from energy generated by its hydro plant. This credit has been passed on to all city electric customers. Questions or concerns may be directed to the utility department at 830-672-2815.
Residents in need of assistance to pay their utility bills can contact local and state organizations: