A Texas lawmaker has introduced a bill to the state house that would establish rules for when propane retailers could disconnect their customers’ service, according to the local Community Impact Newspaper.
If the proposal passes, propane dealers could not cut off service on a weekend, unless the company was equipped to receive payment and restore service the same day. In addition, dealers would not be allowed to disconnect service when temperatures were below freezing, and bill collection would be deferred until after the bad weather had passed.
Rep. Paul Workman, a newly elected Republican from Austin, introduced the bill earlier this month. He will accept public comment on the proposal next Monday. Workman represents the 47th District of Texas, where propane use is prevalent.
It’s worth noting that the bill refers to “propane utility companies” — a label that folks in the industry would reject, since the official stance from the national trade group opposes treating the gas like a public utility. The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) argues that the propane does not resemble other regulated energy sources (like natural gas or electricity), and should not be subjected to the controls these utilities face.
Workman joins state legislators in New Mexico and Vermont who have also pitched new regulations on propane dealers this heating season.
Want to read the bill? It is here.