Texas PUC Denies Texas Legal Services Center Petition For Disconnection Moratorium
May 14, 2020 Email This Story Copyright 2010-20 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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The Public Utility Commission of Texas denied a petition from Texas Legal Services Center and several other similar groups, which had sought, among other things, to apply a moratorium on utility shutoffs to residential utility services statewide during and for 30 days after the termination of the COVID-19 state of emergency.
The petition had been filed on March 20, before the Electricity Relief Program, later adopted by the PUC, was first publicly proposed in a memo from PUC Chairman DeAnn Walker
Texas Legal Services Center's sought emergency rule was proposed to apply to all Texans regardless of income, and would have included a disconnection moratorium as well as a prohibition on late fees.
The PUC adopted a Staff recommendation in denying the petition, though the Commission will revise Staff's recommendation filing to put into standard order format
As more fully discussed in our prior story on Staff's recommendation (see story here), Staff had noted that the PUC has already taken actions to address the effects of COVID-19 on utility consumers in Texas, including the Electricity Relief Program and disconnection moratorium for Program participants, and requiring by Commission order that REPs offer deferred payment plans to customers who have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19