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Discounts, Protections Available to Low Income in Texas

Update (09/2016): Although legislation passed that extended the period over which the balance of the LITE UP Texas system benefit fund was to be eliminated, the Lite-Up fund has been depleted and electric discounts have ended as of August 31, 2016.

Low-income electric customers in areas of Texas where there is retail competition are eligible for LITE-UP Texas, a discount on electric bills from May through August. This is the third year the summer discount has been provided, funded through a system benefit charge on electric bills. Eligible households must be at or below 125 percent of federal poverty guidelines or receive certain means-tested benefits.

Additionally, for the third consecutive year, TXU Energy, one of the largest utilities in Texas, has declared a summer moratorium (July 1 through September 30) on disconnects for customers designated as low-income, ill or disabled or who are at least 62 years of age. The utility also announced that more flexible deferred payment plans are available to these customers.  

Customers enrolled in the moratorium will not be required to pay electric bills during the program period; TXU will require payment of 25 percent of the deferred summer bills with the first electric bill issued after September 30th, with the remaining balance to be paid in equal installments over the next five bills.  

TXU Energy is also continuing its year-round low-income discount program, provided to about 140,000 of its customers, in addition to any discount they get from LITE-UP Texas.  

Other consumer services available from TXU are: deposit waivers 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 and the TXU Energy Aid program, for customers having an energy emergency.  

Persons interested in LITE-UP Texas can call 1-866-454-8387 and request an application or print an application from the program website.

Those interested in the TXU moratorium can call (972) 791 2888 ( Dallas ) or (800) 242-9113 and ask for the Summer Moratorium installment plan.  

Source: Business Wire, TX PUC