The state Senate this week unanimously approved consumer protection legislation that would give customers who have special needs more protections from utility shut-offs, according to Senator Tommy Tomlinson (R-Bucks).
Tomlinson, who chairs the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee said House Bill 939 would give families facing financial hardship more time, options and flexibility to make payments before their utilities are turned off.
The legislation would:
- ban Friday terminations so customers would not have to wait through the weekend to resolve billing issues;
- protect people who have serious medical conditions from shut-offs;
- protect victims of domestic violence from having their power terminated;
- shield tenants from termination when their landlord was the one responsible for utility payments;
- prevent utility companies from terminating an impoverished family’s (below 250 percent of federal poverty limit) power during winter months; and
- eliminate mandatory cash deposits for customer assistance program (CAP)-eligible people.