Energy Companies Pledge Moratorium on Disconnects

The hot humid summer is fast approaching and with it comes higher energy bills. Laurie Johnson reports some electricity customers won't have to worry about whether or not they can pay their bill.
The Texas Public Utility Commission prohibits energy companies from disconnecting low-income customers during severe heat waves.

But if no heat advisory in is place, companies can use their own discretion when it comes to stopping services.

TXU Energy Vice President John Detzel says the company will put a moratorium on all disconnects this summer for qualified customers.

"Texas summers can be scorching hot. So at TXU Energy we know that customers who are ill or disabled, low-income families and older adults often need help. So we want to make sure that we go that extra mile to make sure that those who need help most during the summer get it."

The moratorium goes into effect on July 1st and runs through September 30th. Detzel says customers who qualify need to call TXU to be listed in the program.

Reliant Energy offers a similar moratorium program. It runs for the same period during the summer months.

Customers who sign up for the programs at either company won't get their electricity for free. They have to agree to deferred payments. But they won't have to worry about losing power.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF, Houston Public Radio News.
Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...