Reliant Energy offers bill payment programs

June 3, 2009 10:19:57 AM PDT
We all know how unbearable the heat can become during the summer, so a fan or air conditioning is a must. But that can be a problem for those struggling to pay their electric bill. Reliant Energy is announcing assistance programs to keep them cool during these hot months.

The Sunnyside Community Center on 6400 High Star is one of eight 'Beat the Heat' centers that Reliant Energy is opening to provide a little of a reprieve for anyone who is trying to escape the grueling heat of a Houston summer.

In addition to the centers, Reliant Energy also announced today the continuation of its Care program. One million dollars has been committed to help low income families and the elderly pay their summer electric bills, which most likely will increase with the temperatures.

Company officials also say that if you call them and set up some type of payment plan, they will not disconnect your services as long you meet certain qualifications.

State Representative Sylvester Turner wanted to make the funds which Reliant is providing a state law, forcing all energy providers in Texas to leave the lights on for customers who are elderly, low-income or in critical care. However, that bill did not pass. Now, the state representative is encouraging other providers to give customers a break this summer, especially given the current economy.

'I think it is highly responsible. I think it will meet the needs of thousands of people, not just in the Houston area, but in their entire service area and I think this is what we are looking for," said Rep. Turner. "When companies recognize that in order for it to be a win-win for them, it must be a win for the most vulnerable Houstonians and people in their service area."

The Care assistance program will run from July 1 until September 30. There are income restrictions. You can't make more than a 125 percent above the poverty level. You also qualify if you receive food stamps and you must be able to pay a portion of the bill by September 30.

For more information you can call Reliant at 1-866-Reliant or log on to www.reliant.com.

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