DENVER, CO – The House today advanced legislation on Second Reading that will create new consumer protections to prohibit service disconnections in the middle of the night.
“No one should unexpectedly have their heat or electricity cut off with no ability to reconnect their service the same day,” said Rep. Chris Kennedy, D-Lakewood. “Disconnections and disruptions take an economic and emotional toll on households, and these issues have only been exacerbated by the tremendous pressures of the last two years. This legislation will protect consumers and also save them money by connecting them with critical utility bill payment assistance programs.”
HB22-1018, sponsored by Representative Chris Kennedy, would create new rules for service disconnections and reconnections and better connect eligible consumers with utility assistance programs which may cover the cost of their utility bills. The bill prohibits electric and gas utilities from disconnecting a customer’s service on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and after 11:59 PM during the week. It also, under certain circumstances, requires utilities to reconnect service on the same day a consumer makes a payment agreement.
The bill requires better communication between utilities and consumers to ensure consumers have access to the utility bill payment assistance programs they are eligible for. The bill also expands eligibility for utility assistance programs by aligning income qualification definitions with legislation passed last session.