State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa has joined the efforts of the Texas Consumer Association and AARP Texas to call for a moratorium on electricity disconnections during extreme weather conditions. In a letter addressed to the Public Utility Commission, Senator Hinojosa expressed his support for the immediate suspension of the current provisions of Substantive Rule §25.29(i) to ensure the safety and well-being of all Texans.
With the recent surge in extreme heat across the state, it has become evident that the existing disconnection rule falls short in protecting the most vulnerable members of society. Senator Hinojosa urges the Commission to impose a total moratorium on all electric service disconnections of residential premises for bill arrearages or lack of payment until, on, or after September 15, 2023, as a matter of public safety.
Additionally, Senator Hinojosa requests that the Commission takes prompt action by directing the state’s transmission and distribution utilities and retail electric providers to report on the number of electric accounts currently disconnected due to lack of payment. These reports should be provided on a weekly basis, at least until November 2023, to ensure transparency and facilitate the development of long-term solutions.
In support of this cause, Senator Hinojosa plans to introduce legislation during the next regular session to make the reporting requirement a state law. This will ensure that critical information regarding electricity disconnections is consistently available to the public and policymakers, enabling a more informed and proactive approach to addressing the challenges faced by communities.
Senator Hinojosa extends his gratitude to the Texas Consumer Association and AARP Texas for their unwavering dedication and leadership in advocating for the rights and well-being of Texans. Their efforts have played a pivotal role in bringing attention to this pressing issue, and Senator Hinojosa is honored to stand alongside them in making this request.
The Senator concludes his letter by expressing his trust in the Public Utility Commission’s commitment to considering this request and taking the necessary steps to protect the well-being of fellow Texans.