Electric And Gas Utility Customer Protections
Section 1 of the act changes the date on which Energy Outreach Colorado disburses to the department of human services (department) a portion of the energy assistance system benefit charges that investor-owned electric and gas utilities collect from January 1, 2022, to March 1, 2023.
Section 2 requires the public utilities commission (commission) to adopt rules prohibiting electric and gas utilities from disconnecting a customer's service:
- On Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays;
- On state or federal holidays;
- To the greatest extent practicable, after 11:59 a.m. on a Monday through Thursday that is not a holiday;
- During an emergency or safety event or circumstance, which includes a manmade or natural emergency or a severe weather event that is likely to affect travel, staffing, or work conditions.
Additionally, the commission's rules must require that, under certain circumstances in which a customer makes a request for reconnection of service on a Monday through Friday that is not a holiday, the utility is required to reconnect the customer's service that same day.
Section 3 establishes 3 income standards for determining a household's eligibility for utility assistance as follows:
- A household income at or below 200% of the federal poverty line;
- A household income at or below 80% of the area median income; or
- A household income that meets the income eligibility criteria that the department sets by rule.
Section 3 also clarifies that the commission may approve a year-round utility preference or advantage given to income-eligible customers.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)