Utility Payment Deferral Plan Proposed for Another Year - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Little Rock, AR

Utility Payment Deferral Plan Proposed for Another Year

NOVEMBER 7, 2006 - Posted at 8:01 a.m. CST

 

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - State Public Service Commission staffers want to give a break for another winter to people who say they can't afford to pay high heating bills for natural gas. Last winter, the program had high default rates.

Meanwhile, the state attorney general's office argues that the state's three gas companies didn't do enough to publicize the program last winter.

Last winter's program allowed some customers to avoid gas-service cutoffs during cold weather by paying a minimum amount of about half of their bills. They were allowed to pay the rest of their bills during warmer months. The PSC says most of the 1,289 people who signed up did so too late and already had past-due balances. Two-thirds of them defaulted.

A filing by the attorney general's office asked the P-S-C to investigate if gas companies did enough to tell customers about the program last winter.

___

Also, the PSC says it was a mistake that account information for some participants was posted on the Internet. Names, account information and other data was available online from July 17 through October 30. The commission says the posting was an accident.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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