From the Office of State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 2010
CONTACT: Luis Moreno
(512) 463-0120 office
(512) 940-0127 cell

Energy Fair to Offer Assistance with Summer Electric Bills, Rate Comparisons

McALLEN — Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa will host the first ever Hidalgo County Energy Fair on Saturday, May 22, from 10 - 2 p.m. at the UT-Pan Am Annex located at 2412 South Closner in Edinburg. The fair will show consumers how to (1) shop for lower electric rates, (2) to receive assistance if they have difficulty making bill payments and (3) to access federal stimulus money to weatherize their homes.

Since the Texas Legislature deregulated the electricity market, most Texans can choose from a number of electric service providers. However, many Texans could still use some guidance on how to find the best price for electric power.

The most vulnerable Texans, particularly the elderly and families with children living on low incomes, also need assistance with monthly electric bills. Texas summers are extremely hot and air conditioning becomes a necessity, not a luxury. Electric companies will be on hand to provide information on electric bill aid.

Senator Hinojosa invited all Hidalgo County residents to join him at the Energy Fair.

"I put this first annual Energy Fair together so that Hidalgo County consumers can fully benefit from a competitive electric power marketplace. Often times, consumers do not want to shop and compare because it is a hassle to change from one electric company to another. This fair will help inform consumers as to how they can make the switch quickly and easily. I especially wanted to bring electric companies to our community so they can show us what programs they have to avoid service disconnections during the long Texas summer," Hinojosa said.

Since deregulation, almost 50 percent of Texans have switched from one electric service provider to another. On the disconnection front, in 2009 more than 45,000 Hidalgo County residents had service interruption.

The Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs will be on hand to help property owners with home weatherization. Homeowners can significantly increase the efficiency of their home by making some modifications to their habits and homes. Texans may be eligible to receive money through the federal stimulus to weatherize their home, lowering energy bills year-round.

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