2009 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 27 - Public Assistance.
Article 6 - Utility Supplements and Assistance
Section 27-6-17 - Utility service; procedures to follow prior to service being discontinued.
27-6-17. Utility service; procedures to follow prior to service being discontinued.
A. Unless requested by the customer, no gas or electric utility shall discontinue service to any residential customer for nonpayment during the period from November 15 through March 15 unless the following procedures are followed:
(1) at least fifteen days prior to the date scheduled for utility service to be discontinued, unless the New Mexico public utility commission [public regulation commission] provides for a shorter period, the utility shall mail or hand-deliver to the customer a notice printed in both English and Spanish and in simple language, which notice clearly explains that:
(a) utility service shall stop on a specific date;
(b) the customer may be eligible for financial assistance to pay for the utility service; and
(c) for assistance, the customer should contact the utility or the department;
(2) any utility subject to this section shall attempt to advise customers who contact the utility seeking financial assistance of the program administered under the Low Income Utility Assistance Act [27-6-11 NMSA 1978] and of assistance programs the utility may administer on its own or in conjunction with others;
(3) the utilities subject to this section and the department shall provide application forms for utility service payment assistance at billing and agency offices; and
(4) before the service is actually discontinued, the utility shall attempt to make contact in person or by telephone to remind the customer of the pending date of discontinuance of service and that financial assistance for utility payments may be available.
B. Unless requested by the customer, no gas or electric utility shall discontinue service to any residential customer for nonpayment during the period from November 15 through March 15 until at least fifteen days after the date scheduled for discontinuance of service if the department has certified to the utility that a customer is eligible for utility payment assistance under the Low Income Utility Assistance Act and that payment for the utility service provided to the customer will be made within the fifteen-day period.
C. The department and the New Mexico public utility commission [public regulation commission] shall coordinate and adopt, as they deem appropriate, either separate or joint rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this section; provided that nothing in this section authorizes the department to revise tariffs or rate filings subject to the jurisdiction of the New Mexico public utility commission.
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