Today, TXU Energy announced it has declared a summer moratorium on disconnects for customers designated as low-income, ill or disabled or who are at least 62 years of age this summer. TXU Energy also announced that more flexible deferred payment plans are available to these customers.
Customers must contact TXU Energy at (800) 242-9113 to notify the company of their needs and to sign up for special, more flexible deferred payment plans. These measures will be in effect July 1 through September 30, 2008. TXU Energy also waives deposit requirements for residential customers who are at least 62 years of age and for all customers with a good record of timely payment.
"Texas summers can be scorching, and we know that customers with critical health care needs, low-income families and older adults often need help," said Jim Burke, Chief Executive Officer, TXU Energy. "We want to go the extra mile to help those who need it most during the summer."
Members of TXU Energy's Low Income Advisory Committee (LIAC) endorsed the move. TXU Energy formed the LIAC earlier this year to involve community experts and consumer advocates in its efforts to identify challenges faced by low-income customers and to provide advice as the company develops effective solutions to help customers overcome those challenges.
"When Texans need help, it is important that they know what public and private programs are in place to help them," said Stella Rodriguez, Executive Director, Texas Association of Community Action Agencies. "And, when it comes to electricity, it's even more important for companies, like TXU Energy, to step forward and let customers know how they can get the help they need."
"TXU Energy has the most comprehensive program to assist low-income families and older adults that I know of," said Jane Bavineau, a Vice President with Sheltering Arms Senior Services in Houston. "And, we particularly appreciate the fact that the company takes the initiative as part of their normal course of business."
Zach Thompson, Director, Dallas County Health and Human Services added, "While there are some people who need help all year round, summer can be especially difficult for low-income families and seniors when temperatures start to rise. The most important thing is to get help to those who need it. TXU Energy's customer protections will provide comfort, safety and financial relief to a lot of people in Texas."
TXU Energy's customer protection measures include:
Summer Moratorium on Disconnects
Customers designated as low-income or at least 62 years of age can avoid disconnection of service due to non-payment by contacting TXU Energy at (800) 242-9113 and asking for a deferred payment plan.
The 2008 summer plan will allow these customers to continue to receive electric service by paying as little as 25 percent of the current month's electric charges, with the remaining balance to be paid in equal installments over the next five billing cycles (typically, balances must be paid in three billing cycles).
Customers designated as both low-income and who are at least 62 years of age, or who can show that disconnection of service will cause a person residing at their residence to become seriously ill or more seriously ill, can avoid disconnection of service due to non-payment by contacting TXU Energy at (800) 242-9113 and asking for a deferred payment plan.
The summer 2008 deferred payment plan for these customers will not require any payment of the current month's electric charges during this time period. Instead, it will require payment of 25 percent of the deferred bill(s) as part of the first electric bill issued after September 30th, 2008 with the remaining balance to be paid in equal installments over the next five billing cycles.
Waiver of Deposits
TXU Energy waives deposits for residential customers who are at least 62 years of age and for any residential customer with an electric bill payment history of no more than one late payment during the prior 12-month period.
$250 Million Commitment to Customer Assistance and Energy Efficiency Initiatives
These customer protections are in addition to a comprehensive set of commitments announced last year that represent a commitment of $250 million through 2012, including:
- $125 Million Commitment to Low-Income Customer Discount Program
TXU Energy plans to invest $125 million through 2012 (or approximately $25 million per year) to a special year-round low-income discount program. TXU Energy is the only retail electric company in Texas that voluntarily provides an approximate 10 percent discount for participating low-income customers. This discount is in addition to the one provided by the System Benefit Fund- the state directed program for low-income assistance on energy bills. As a result, eligible low-income customers can receive a total discount of approximately 30 percent this summer (May-September).
As of March 2008, almost 107,000 TXU Energy customers were enrolled in the company-funded Low Income Assistance discount program. The LIAC will work with TXU Energy to expand the number of recipients qualified for the discount. The program is available to TXU Energy low-income customers in all the competitive areas across Texas.
- $25 Million Commitment to TXU Energy AidSM Program
Working with more than 800 social service agencies statewide, TXU Energy currently administers and helps fund the TXU Energy AidSM program, which benefits low-income customers, senior citizens and other customers who have an emergency need for bill payment assistance. TXU Energy plans to contribute $5 million per year for TXU Energy AidSM through 2012, in addition to any funds received from customers and employees for this important program. This program is the largest bill payment assistance program among electricity companies in the nation.
- $100 Million Commitment to Energy Efficiency and Conservation Investments
Additionally, TXU Energy plans to spend $100 million through 2012 to help customers reduce the amount of electricity they use through energy efficiency and conservation initiatives. A substantial portion of this commitment is dedicated to helping lower the overall usage of low-income customers through conservation, weatherization and energy efficiency. This will ensure that low-income customers, as well as other TXU Energy customers, receive the benefits of the commitment the company has made to increase overall investments in energy efficiency and conservation.
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About TXU Energy
TXU Energy is a market-leading competitive retailer that provides electricity and related services to more than 2.1 million electricity customers in Texas. TXU Energy offers a variety of innovative products and solutions, allowing both its residential and business customers to choose options that best meet their needs, including 24/7 customer service, competitively priced electricity service plans, innovative energy efficiency options, renewable energy programs and other electricity-related products and services. Visit http://www.txuenergy.com for more information about TXU Energy.
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