Today, TXU Energy announced it has again 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. This is the third consecutive year the company has offered these protections to eligible customers.
Customers must contact TXU Energy at (800) 242-9113 on or after July 1st to notify the company of their needs and to sign up for special, more flexible payment plans. These measures will be in effect July 1 through September 30, 2009. 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.
"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 make sure that our most vulnerable customers have the help they need when they need it most." State legislators, who have proposed legislation this year modeled after TXU Energy's customer protections, endorsed the move.
"I've been working with TXU Energy, and other retail electric providers, to make sure we have these kinds of consumer protections in place all across the competitive market," said State Representative Sylvester Turner (D-Houston). "I'm pushing legislation codifying similar customer protections. In the meantime, we need all companies to take this step and voluntarily commit, just like TXU Energy has."
"I commend TXU Energy for adopting protections for our most vulnerable family members and neighbors prior to the hot summer months arriving. Some companies can lose sight of those who simply cannot afford the increased electricity bills during the Texas summers," said State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (D-Mission). "More utility electric companies should follow TXU Energy's example. Electric service is not a luxury, it is a necessity."
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 (972) 791 2888 (Dallas) or (800) 242 9113 and asking for the Summer Moratorium installment plan.
The 2009 Summer Moratorium plan will allow these customers to continue to receive electric service by paying as little as 25% 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 Moratorium Installment Plan for these customers will not require any payment of electric charges during the program period. Instead, it will require payment of 25% of the deferred summer bills with the first electric bill issued after September 30, 2009 with the remaining balance to be paid in equal installments over the next five bills.
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. Other waivers are also available.
$250 Million Commitment to Customer Assistance and Energy Efficiency Initiatives: These customer protections are in addition to a comprehensive set of commitments that represent a commitment of $250 million through 2012 including:
- $125 Million Commitment to Low-Income Customer Discount Program
TXU Energy is investing $125 million through 2012 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% 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. In May 2009, almost 140,000 TXU Energy customers are enrolled to receive 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 social service agencies statewide, TXU Energy administers and helps fund the TXU Energy AidSM program, which benefits any customer who has an emergency need for bill payment assistance. TXU Energy is providing $25 million through 2012 for TXU Energy AidSM in addition to any funds received from customers and employees for this important program. This 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 the company's Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, which targets single- and multi-family homes by providing access to technologies that help customers use less electricity so they reduce their overall bills and save money.
About TXU Energy
TXU Energy is a market-leading competitive retailer that provides electricity and related services to more than 2.2 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 exceptional customer service, competitively priced electricity service plans, innovative energy efficiency options, renewable energy programs and other electricity-related products and services. Visit http://www.txu.com/ for more information about TXU Energy. REP #10004.