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Local non-profits providing utility assistance amid service terminations

Three local groups are helping struggling families keep their power on during the pandemic
Published: Jul. 21, 2020 at 10:49 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Some local non-profits say they’re standing by, ready to help people keep their power on as utility companies have started charging late fees or disconnecting services for customers who aren’t paying their bills.

Lt. Timothy Isreal, the Corps Officer of The Salvation Army of Bryan/College Station says if you believe your power could possibly get shut off, you should call them at (979) 361-0618 as soon as possible to discuss your options. They ask you call them sooner rather than later as their appointments are quickly filling up.

“Some people might be thinking, ‘Well I can make it a few days,’ or things like that, but your house is going to get hot very quickly and so we want you to get the resources you need,” said Lt. Isreal.

He says the Salvation Army is offering month-to-month utility assistance for those why apply and qualify.

“We then will cut a check and send that directly straight to the utility company and utility service to make sure that your power is staying on and that those utilities are not getting cut off in this time of need,” said Lt. Isreal.

Elder-Aid is another non-profit providing utility assistance in the Brazos Valley to those who are 60 years of age and older. They ask that you call them at (979) 823-5127 if you need assistance.

Also providing utility assistance at this time is Brazos Valley Community Action Programs (BVCAP) Energy/Housing office. Their office has received emergency funding through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The funds are available for income-eligible households in crisis directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bryan Jones, the Housing Administrator for BVCAP says they’re accepting applications right now and don’t have a waiting list.

“We can pay up to six to eight months, depending on how much your bills are. We could actually give you credits in the future based on what your current bills are, so it’s more than just one month. We could even pay some clients up to the end of December, but each is a case-by-case scenario and the amount of the bill determines that” said Jones.

According to a BVCAP press release, they are also able to assist with food, rent, temporary shelter, fuel, childcare, prescriptions, and other approved expenses directly related to the pandemic. This applies to residents living in the following counties: Brazos, Burleson, Chambers, Grimes, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Montgomery, Robertson, Walker, Waller, and Washington.

BVCAP asks you email them if you need utility assistance at Utilityassistance@bvcog.org

For all other COVID-19 assistance, send an email to CARESrelief@bvcog.org

For all inquiries, they ask you to contact their office at (979) 595-2801, ext 8005.

College Station Utilities and BTU representatives say customers should reach out to them directly to discuss payment plans and options to avoid a disconnect. BTU’s website with information is here. CSU’s website with information is here.

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