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I want to know more about my electric utility rights in Texas.

House & Apartment

This guide is designed to give you information about your electric utility rights in Texas.
Overview

Guide Overview

Warning: The information and forms in this guide are not a substitute for the advice and help of a lawyer.

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

Common questions about Public Housing

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. 

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.

LITE-UP Texas was designed to help you pay your electric bill by providing discounts and other forms of payment assistance. The LITE-UP TEXAS rate discount ended August 31, 2016. See the web site of the Public Utilities Commission for more information about help paying your electric bill if you have a low income

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.

See Consumer Protection and Assistance by Texas ROSE.


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).
 

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.

Instructions & Forms

Warning: The information and forms in this guide are not a substitute for the advice and help of a lawyer.

Checklist Steps

You can take the following steps to properly consider the guide's resources and your overall legal issue. 

  • Step A: Write Down Your Facts
    • If you haven't already done it, it is a good idea to write out exactly what you say happened in your situation.
      • Make sure to include dates and notes of any proof you may have.
  • Step B: Define Your Problem
    • Think about the problem you are facing, and try to answer the questions below:
      • What person and/or organization do you think is either at fault or is on the opposite side of your case?
      • What directly caused the situation you are dealing with?
      • If you were able to solve your issue, in the future, what would be your ideal outcome? What would you be willing to accept?
    • Try to exactly write out the exact problem you are trying to solve. This should be no more than a paragraph in length.
  • Step C: Keep In Mind
    • As you review the contents of the guide, make sure to keep your facts and your problem in mind. 

A good place to start is to review the Frequently Asked Questions, Articles, and any forms that may be available. Please note, not every guide will have a form. 

  • Frequently Asked Questions are "bite-sized" answers to specific questions visitors to TexasLawHelp may have.
  • Articles are more comprehensive guides on a specific legal subject.
  • Forms are documents you may be able to use to go to court.
    • WARNING: The information and forms in this guide 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

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

WARNING: The information and forms in this guide 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

Articles in this guide