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1.1.2 The Structure of This Treatise

This treatise is organized into four topics: (1)getting and maintaining regulated utility service; (2)keeping utility bills affordable in private and subsidized housing; (3) issues specific to low-income telecommunications and water, and (4) special circumstances.

Chapters 2 through 6, infra, cover the topic of getting and maintaining regulated utility service as well as focus on electric, natural gas, water, and telecom service under the jurisdiction of the state public utility commission. Chapter 2 discusses the right to utility service. Chapter 3 explores tenant strategies for maintaining service. Chapter 4 deals with an array of metering issues. Chapter 5 focuses on payment issues, and Chapter 6 examines issues related to utility terminations and consumer protections from disconnection.

Chapters 7 through 10, infra, cover the topic of keeping utility bills affordable in private and subsidized housing and focus on federal, state, utility, and private programs and rules to help keep utility bills affordable. Chapter 7 examines utility affordability programs. Chapter 8 describes the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Chapter 9 discusses low-income weatherization programs, and Chapter 10 explores utility allowances in publicly owned and subsidized housing.

Chapters 11 and 12, infra, cover issues specific to low-income telecommunications and water as well as additional programs and issues specific to these utilities. Chapter 11 discusses telecommunication programs and issues, and Chapter 12 explores the issue of water affordability.

Finally, Chapters 13 through 15, infra, cover special circumstances. Chapter 13 focuses on consumer and landlord bankruptcy issues related to utility service. Chapter 14 covers special utility issues related to manufactured housing, and Chapter 15 explores protections for consumers of municipal utility service, cooperatives, and deliverable fuels.

Certain documents are referred to in this treatise and cited by a “Clearinghouse” number. These documents may be ordered from the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law (formerly known as the National Clearinghouse for Legal Services) by calling (312) 263-3830, ext. 223, or by sending a facsimile to (312) 263-3846. Some documents may be available on the organization’s website at www.povertylaw.org. Paper documents cost $10.00 per case plus actual delivery charges.