hide my visit

I want to know more about my Electric Utility Rights in Texas

Related Legal Issues

Title

I want to know more about my Electric Utility Rights in Texas

This toolkit is designed to give you information about your electric utility rights in Texas

If you need general information about your rights, please read the Articles section and look through the Frequently Asked Questions. 

To see if you qualify for free help , call the Texas ROSE at (512) 472-5233

If you need other help, use Find Legal Help to look for a lawyer, free legal aid program, or self-help center in your area.

WARNING: The information and forms in this toolkit are not a substitute for the advice and help of a lawyer. It’s a good idea to talk with a lawyer about your particular situation.

Checklists
Frequently Asked Questions
Who do I contact if I have a problem with an electric provider?

If you have a problem with any electric provider you should contact the electric provider first  and ask them to fix it. 

If you get an answer that you do not like from the customer service line, ask to speak to a supervisor. A supervisory review is a step in the PUC customer complaint procedure. Supervisors should be more knowledgeable about rules and regulations. Supervisors also have the discretion to make decisions that the people answering the phones do not have. If your problem is not fixed through the customer service network file a complaint. 

How do I file a complaint against an electric service provider ?

In deregulated and regulated service areas file a complaint at the Public Utility Commission (PUC).

PUC complaint filing information can be located on the PUC web site at www.puc.texas.gov.  

Or call (888) 782-8477.

You can also email customer@puc.texas.gov  to file a complaint.  

Whether you call or email the PUC, be sure to include information about disconnection notices and disconnection dates. 

 

What is LITE-UP Texas?

LITE-UP Texas can help you pay your Electric bill ! by providing Discounts and other forms of payment assistance.The LITE-UP TEXAS rate discount provided in deregulated service areas ended August 31, 2016.  It is still worthwhile for low income customers to qualify for the program.To qualify household income must be at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty guideline or the customer must receive benefits from the Texas Department of Human Services (TDHS).  A third party central administrator manages the LITE-UP rate discount program.  Many recipients of benefits from TDHS are enrolled automatically.  Call toll free at 1-866-454-8387 for more information.  You may also access an application on the PUC website at www.puc.texas.gov.  The LITE-UP TEXAS office also qualifies households for telephone lifeline rates.  

 

When can my electricity NOT be Disconnected ?

Under certain circumstances, a regulated electric utility is prohibited from disconnecting a customer.  These circumstances include:

  • When there is a heat advisory in effect 
  • When temperatures are below freezing for more than 24 hours 
  • On weekends or holidays or the day immediately preceding where there is no one available to accept payment
  • When the customer establishes that disconnection of service will cause some critical care person residing at the residence to become seriously ill or more seriously ill
  • When the company receives a pledge, letter of intent, purchase order, or other notification that the energy assistance provider is forwarding sufficient payment to continue service.

 

Can I get help paying my electric bill?


Bill Payment Assistance - Prepaid Service

Many retail electric providers (REPs) are now offering prepaid service to residential customers.  The target market for prepaid service is low-income households. Under a prepaid plan the customer does not receive a monthly bill. It is the customer’s responsibility to monitor the account. It is the REP's responsibility to provide information electronically about the account. Many bill payment assistance programs—including the federally funded program and programs funded by counties—do not provide energy assistance to customers taking prepaid service

See About Electric Deregulation by Texas ROSE (Ratepayers' Organization to Save Energy).
 

How can I prevent disconnection of Electricity ?

The best way to prevent disconnection of your electricity is to stay in contact with your electric provider when you have trouble making your payments.  Take advantage of available payment assistance, the weatherization program, or other energy efficiency programs that will reduce your usage while maintaining your usual level of comfort and service.  Make alternative payment arrangements.  Ask for a deferred payment plan and a levelized or average payment plan where you would pay the same amount every month.  Most important, make sure you agree only to a deferred payment arrangement you can afford to pay.  If you default on the deferred payment plan you will be disconnected

Information on the LITE-UP Texas Program

The LITE-UP TEXAS rate discount provided in deregulated service areas ended August 31, 2016. It is still worthwhile for low income customers to qualify for the program. Watch the video below for more information.