Winter Weather Recovery Resources
Updated: 4.8.2021 1:00pm
From busted water pipes to roof repairs, the City of San Marcos asks its residents to report all damages to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as soon as possible.
Hays County is among 77 counties across the state currently eligible for Individual Assistance from FEMA. A map of all eligible counties is available online. Reporting damages to FEMA ensures residents and the City receive federal resources and services to aid in recovery efforts.
Residents may apply for disaster assistance online by visiting the Disaster Assistance website. Once on the site, select the “Apply Online” tab to begin a new application. During the application process, remember to select “snow/ice” as the cause of the damage reported as a result of the recent winter weather event. The deadline to apply for disaster assistance is April 20, 2021.
Residents applying for both home and business disaster assistance are only required to complete one registration form. To complete the application, be prepared with the following information:
• Social Security number of applicant OR Social Security number of household minor child
• Annual household income
• Contact information, including phone number and addresses
• Insurance information, including company name and policy coverage
An email address is required to review registration status online. Residents applying without providing an email address will be required to contact FEMA for status updates.
Anyone without computer or internet access is welcome to use the lobby computer lab at the San Marcos Public Library, 625 East Hopkins Street, to complete the online disaster assistance application. The lobby will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Guests are encouraged to bring their own devices to connect to the internet as a limited number of library computers are available. Individual assistance from staff will not be available and the main portion of the library remains closed to the public due to COVID-19 concerns. All visitors are asked to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
For more information, call the FEMA Disaster Assistance Helpline at 1-800-621-3362. TTY users can call 1-800-462-7585.
The City of San Marcos Electric Utility is completing manual meter readings at all customer addresses not automatically reporting into the billing software system to ensure exact usage numbers following our recent winter weather event.
Many residents are concerned about spikes in utility rates due to stories being reported in the state and national media. San Marcos Electric Utility (SMEU) is a municipal utility owned by the City of San Marcos, and rates are set by City ordinance in coordination with the City budget process. There will be no increase in rates for SMEU customers at this time. However, customer usage will likely be much higher than normal due to the nearly two weeks of extremely cold weather we have experienced, which may result in higher than normal bills this billing period.
Customer Connect Usage Information
If your usage graph in Customer Connect shows usage on days when you had no electricity, please note that this is how the information is displayed during a power interruption, but you are not being charged for electric usage during those times. The San Marcos utility system retrieves information from your smart meter at regular intervals, and those daily readings can be seen in Customer Connect under the My Usage tab. During a power interruption, those readings may not be available so the system estimates your daily usage, which can produce imprecise results in Customer Connect.
The system used to provide daily readings on graphs in Customer Connect is separate from the City’s billing system. The billing system uses only the total actual Kilowatt hours used at your meter at the end of your billing cycle. SMEU is completing manual meter readings at all customer addresses not automatically reporting into the billing software system to ensure exact usage numbers following our recent winter weather event. This means that there will be no estimated usages for customers included in the first two utility billing cycles. Customers will only pay for the actual Kilowatts used during the billing cycle at their home or business.
Boil Water Advisory
Effective Sunday, February 21, 2021, the City of San Marcos has lifted the boil water advisory for all City of San Marcos water customers as testing has confirmed that our water is safe to drink.
As of February 20, 2021, all City water system repairs were completed and pressure within the overall water distribution system stabilized to a level that allowed water samples to be collected per Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requirements. These samples were then sent for laboratory testing and the results returned earlier today confirmed that no contamination had occurred.
As temperatures have warmed up, the City’s temporary winter weather call center has closed. If you need to report a water issue at your home or business, email Water/Wastewater or call 512-393-8010. To report a power outage email Electric Utilities or call 512-393-8313.
Winter Weather Event Utility FAQs \ Evento de Clima Invernal Preguntas Frecuentes Sobre Utilidades
The City of San Marcos knows our utility customers have many questions following the Winter Storm Event and the ERCOT-mandated rolling outages. The following frequently asked questions will help with answers about the electric outages, your utility bill, and how this event may affect utility rates. We’ll update our customers as new information becomes available in upcoming weeks.
La Ciudad de San Marcos sabe que nuestros clientes de utilidades tienen muchas preguntas después del Evento de Tormenta Invernal de la semana pasada y los cortes de energía obligatorios de ERCOT. Esta lista de preguntas frecuentes ayudara con respuestas sobre los cortes de electricidad, su factura de utilidades, y como este evento puede afectar las tarifas de utilidades. Actualizaremos a nuestros clientes en cuanto haya nueva información disponible en las próximas semanas.
- Who actually decided what areas lost power, how long they would be out, and when this would happen?
- ¿Quién decidió cuales áreas perderían energía, cuanto tiempo estarían sin energía y cuando sucederían?
- Why did some areas seem to have power on more often than others?
- ¿Por qué algunas áreas parecían tener energía con más frecuencia que otras?
- Why did some areas have longer outages than others?
- ¿Por qué algunas áreas tuvieron cortes más prolongados que otras?
- Why was my power off after the rolling outages stopped?
- ¿Por qué se cortó la energía después de que se detuvieron las interrupciones del servicio?
- Will our electric and water rates be increased because of the storm event?
- ¿Aumentaran nuestras tarifas de electricidad y agua debido a la tormenta?
- What will my electric bill look like because of this event?
- ¿Como será mi factura de electricidad debido a este evento?
- How could my winter electric bill be higher than my July or August bill?
- ¿Porque mi factura de invierno es más alta que la facture de Julio o Agosto?
- When I look at the usage charts on my Customer Connect account screen they show small power amounts during periods when I had no power. How can that be right?
- Cuando veo el uso de energía en mi cuenta de Customer Connect, refleja un uso chico de energía durante periodos cuando no tuve poder. ¿La información es correcta?
The City understands that some customers are concerned about being able to make their utility payments. Our Utility Customer Service Division is providing options to assist utility customers in navigating these challenging times. Please review the assistance options on our Utility Customer Service webpage for information on financial assistance, extended payment arrangements, late fees, and disconnections.
Texas Rent Relief
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) received approximately $1.3 billion in Emergency Rental Assistance funds from the newly passed Coronavirus Relief Bill Rental Assistance Program. TDHCA is using the funds to help Texas renters pay rent and utility bills including past due bills.
Texas Rent Relief Program can help cover renters with the following costs starting as far back as March 13, 2020:
- Past due, current, and up to 3 months of expected rent costs.
- Past due, current, or up to 3 months of expected utility and home energy expenses.
- After the initial 3 months of forwarding assistance, you can apply for 3 additional months of assistance if funds are still available.
Landlord applications are available and can be completed on behalf of tenants. Tenant applications are available and require the Landlord to participate in the application process. TDHCA will accept applications from both landlords and tenants beginning Feb. 15, 2021. Funds will be distributed directly to landlords or utility providers. If funds are not accepted by the landlord or utility provider, they will be redirected to tenants 21 days after rejection.
Assistance to complete an application is available by calling 1.833.989.7368 from Monday through Saturday starting 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information visit Texas Rent Relief.
Pioneer Bank is offering a Disaster Relief Loan to help those in the community who have been impacted by the Winter Storm. Loan usage is intended to help with winter storm expenses and repairs.
Anyone with a household income of less than $78,080 per year qualifies for the loan. Loan amounts vary from $500 - $2500. Additional specs from the loan include 0% APR interest, no closing costs, a longer repayment period of up to 60 months, and the first payment is deferred up to 90 days from closing.
For additional information visit Pioneer Bank.
In order to relieve the financial burden on residents and businesses as a result of plumbing repairs made necessary by the winter storm event, the San Marcos City Council is temporarily waiving fees for permits associated with these repairs. This temporary waiver is in effect through the end of day on Thursday, April 1, 2021.
In most cases, a plumbing permit will still be required for all repair work and may be applied for online, 24-hours-a-day at My Government Online.
These services are open to residential garbage and apartment recycling customers in San Marcos. Residents must wear a mask and follow instructions from staff.
Community Clean Up
April 10, 2021 & May 8, 2021
Visit Resource Recovery for more information on what items are accepted at the brush drop off and community clean up.
Price gouging is illegal if a disaster has been declared by the Governor of Texas or the President, and businesses raise the price of their products to exorbitant or excessive rates to take advantage of the disaster declaration. Check out the Texas Attorney General's website for more information on price gouging and how to file a consumer complaint.
Mayor Jane Hughson signed a Declaration of Local State of Disaster on February 13, 2021, that was in effect until February 26, 2021 at noon.
Governor Abbott Issues Disaster Declaration In Response To Severe Winter Weather In Texas on February 12, 2021.