According to an article in the Star-Telegram, new rules governing electricity companies will take affect December 1st that may save consumers money. In the past some consumers many of who were already struggling financially, facing foreclosure or considering bankruptcy, were often slammed with high electricity bills when their fixed-rate electricity contract expired. Or, consumers could find themselves trapped with excruciatingly expensive electricity bills when attempting to switch to a cheaper provider.
The article said:
“New state regulations are designed to alert consumers of looming contract expirations and accelerate switching from one provider to another to quickly secure a lower electric rate. A new state law that takes effect no later than Dec. 1 will require providers to notify residential customers at least 30 days before their fixed contract expires. Before the state law kicks in, an interim Texas Public Utility Commission rule that took effect Monday requires providers to give at least 14 days’ notice of a contract expiration…Another new regulation requires that switching consumers from one provider to another take effect within seven business days.”
Previously it could have taken up to 45 days for an electricity provider to switch the service and the consumer was often charged more expensive “interim” rates. As many debtors know, the cost of electricity can become so burdensome that it can affect the overall financial health of a homeowner or renter. Many debtors who file bankruptcy, include burdensome electricity bills that have accumulated to well over a $1000. Bankruptcy allows debtors to discharge delinquent electricity bills (and other utility bills) and get a fresh financial start. Debtors who have filed bankruptcy are usually able to restore their utilities with a deposit required by the company.