How Can I Get Assistance Paying My Electric Bill?
No matter how hard you work to take care of your family, sometimes covering the utility bills in Texas can be a real challenge. The rising price of energy, coupled with your AC eating up electricity due to high summer temperatures can make your bill skyrocket beyond what you’re able to afford. Fortunately, there are several options available to Texans who need help paying electric bill costs.
Customer Aid Programs
We are proud to help Texans with electric bill assistance in any way we can. Our Neighbor to Neighbor Program allows customers and fellow Texans to donate funds to help customers pay their energy bill. If you want to help others, you can donate to the program when you pay your Direct Energy bill. Our partnership with the Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP), a federal government program aiding eligible low-income customers, also helps Texans around the state get the help they need with their electricity bills.
There are a few ways to apply for these funds:
- Find the assistance agency in your county by searching our list of agencies.
- Call 2-1-1 on your mobile phone, and an operator will connect you with an assistance agency in your community.
- Call 1-877-541-7905 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. This toll-free number will directly connect you with the CEAP service provider in your county.
To find out more about this and other electric bill assistance programs available to you in Texas, please visit the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs website.
Payment Arrangement Plans
Qualified customers may be eligible for one of Direct Energy's payment arrangement plans. Our available plans include:
- Payment Extension Plan: a short-term extension of the due date for full payment of past-due bills
- Deferred Payment Plan: an extended payment plan where past-due bills may be paid in installments
- Average Billing: a billing method that averages your monthly invoices so that you are charged about the same amount each month
If you are interested in one of these payment options, start a live chat below to speak to a friendly customer service representative, or contact us at 1-888-305-3828 .
Payment Extension Plan
A Payment Extension is a short-term extension of the due date for the full payment of your past-due balance. If you arrange a Payment Extension, your account will not receive collections activity and your electricity will not be disconnected during the terms of your extension agreement. Unlike a Deferred Payment Plan, this is a short-term arrangement rather than a long-term, structured payment plan. It’s designed for customers who simply need a little extra time to pay, rather than customers who need help paying electric bill costs.
A Payment Extension is offered to you if you are less than seven days past your bill due date. Once you have been approved for a Payment Extension, you have eight days to pay your balance in full.
Click here for more information about Payment Extension Plans.
Deferred Payment Plan
Eligible customers can arrange a Deferred Payment Plan (DPP), which allows you to pay an outstanding bill in installments. A DPP is set up by dividing the entire outstanding balance into two to five equal installments. You will be required to pay your current monthly energy charges along with the DPP payment each month.
Click here for more information about DPP.
Eligible customers can enroll for an Average Billing Plan to help budget their energy costs. An Average Billing Plan averages your monthly invoices so that you are charged about the same amount each month. The amount could differ slightly from month to month based on taxes, pass-through charges, and other fees. Your usage is reviewed monthly and adjustments are made to the payment amount based on your actual usage.
Your monthly bill is calculated by taking a rolling average of your electric usage for the previous 11 months, plus your usage from the current month. That amount is divided by 12, taking into consideration the current month's energy rate with a slight adjustment for outside factors.
Click here to learn more about average billing.