Texas electric customers to get low income discount


Austin, TX, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — June 26, 2007

A summer discount of at least 12 percent for low-income residential electric customers in areas participating in retail electric competition in Texas has been authorized by the state’s Public Utility Commission (PUC).

The discount will reduce electric bills by approximately 25 to 30 dollars a month from July through October in 2007.

A customer qualifies for the discount if family income is at or below 125 percent of federal poverty level guidelines ($25,813 annually for a family of four), or if the customer gets certain benefits, including food stamps, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, or low-income Medicare, from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).

Residents of master or sub-metered apartments cannot get the discount, however.

Most eligible customers will be automatically enrolled through a matching system operated by the Low-Income Discount Administrator (LIDA) and using data provided by the HHSC and retail electric providers. Currently approximately 316,000 customers are matched.

Earlier this year $30 million in low-income discounts for the summer of 2007 was provided by Texas lawmakers.

More funding is available to resume the discounts for the summers of 2008 and 2009. Funding for the discount comes from the System Benefit Fund, which collects 65 cents per 1,000 kWh from electric customers in areas of retail electric competition within Texas.