LP&L explains disconnect policy in extreme heat - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

LP&L explains disconnect policy in extreme heat

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

After two LP&L employees had a shotgun pulled on them by a customer during a disconnection on Wednesday, we're asking questions about the company's policy on cutting power in extreme heat.

"When it is hot outside, the Texas Public Utility Commission says utilities should not do disconnects when the National Weather Service in that area that you're servicing issues a heat advisory," Sims said.

LP&L doesn't have to follow Public Utility Commission guidelines because they're a municipality. Sims says they voluntarily comply for extreme weather and customers requiring power for life support. Lubbock has only had two heat advisories so far.

LP&L says more customers are having trouble with their bills this summer.

"We're seeing customers call and telling us they can't pay and that they need help," said Chris Sims with LP&L.

For those having trouble making payments, LP&L says there are organizations in Lubbock who help with electricity payments.

"At anytime they feel they can't pay their bill we tell them to call us because we have resources we can give them," said Sims.

There are 6 agencies LP&L refers customers to. Family Catholic Services offers Project Helping Hand. The project allows LP&L to round up your bill. The leftover money is placed into an account for those in need.

The Salvation Army also helps with bills. On average, $1,000 per month goes to families having trouble, but since May they've given nearly $5,400.

LP&L is also reminding folks of their disconnect policy.

From the time you get your bill in the mail, you have 22 days before you are charged a late fee.
After 22 days, they'll send you a reminder that your power could be shut off within 7 days.

Recently they've added a new feature.

LP&L will call the phone number listed on your account 4 times per day, every 3 hours, until you pick up. It's another reminder to pay your past due amount to avoid disconnection. Power can be cut within 30 days of a missed payment.

For more information on Project Helping Hand just (Click_here).

We also have more on how to get assistance from the Salvation Army (Click_here).

Copyright 2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved.

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