DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL
Utility deposits. Prohibits a utility from terminating residential gas or electric service during the heating season if the customer is eligible for and has applied for emergency energy assistance through: (1) the division of family and children (division); or (2) any program that bases eligibility on a household income of 200% of the federal poverty level or less. Requires, during the heating season, a utility to offer a deferred payment plan for past due amounts and a level payment plan for past due and future charges. Limits the amount of a deposit a utility may charge an applicant for service who has not shown creditworthiness. Bases the limit on the lesser of: (1) the estimated charges for providing service, if the applicant has not been a utility customer in the past two years; or (2) the applicant's average charges for the same service provided by another utility during the past two years. Limits the amount of a deposit charged to an existing customer to the lesser of: (1) 50% of past due charges; or (2) two times the customer's average monthly charges. For a customer who receives a disconnect notice for a month during the heating season, limits the deposit to the lesser of: (1) 10% of past due charges; or (2) two times the customer's average monthly charges; if the customer has entered a deferred payment plan. Subject to the rules of the division or other program providing energy assistance, allows a customer's assistance payment to be applied to: (1) past due amounts; and (2) deposits.