Press Statement
From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
May 29, 2008
Contact: Tina Tran, 713-236-0306

Senator Ellis Joined Reliant Energy's, Albert Myres to Announce "Beat the Heat" Plan

"I commend Reliant for voluntarily agreeing to a summer moratorium on electricity shut-offs for low income customers. It's a great step, but the state of Texas needs to do its part, too. Rising energy prices are making it harder for many Texans to make ends meet, and it's time for the leaders of this state to implement smart and efficient energy policies that ensure affordable and sustainable energy for the future.

The Legislature created the System Benefit Fund, in large part, to help provide assistance to those struggling with energy bills during difficult times. In recent years, the Legislature has chosen to let the System Benefit Fund sit unused while Texans struggle to pay ever higher utility bills. There is currently a balance of over $400 million in the System Benefit Fund account, and it's time we used these funds to help people in need. The Legislature needs to ensure in the next session that all these funds are used to help low income people who, without this assistance, would be in grave danger during the hot Texas summer."