Monday, April 27, 2015

PUC Enhances With New Consumer-Friendly Features

The Public Utility Commission Monday announced a series of enhancements to, the agency’s consumer-education website with information on shopping for electric suppliers, consumer alerts and reminders, educational videos and more.
“It is our responsibility to educate consumers as much as possible to help them save on their bills, and to allow them to make informed decisions on where – and how – their electricity is generated,” said PUC Chairman Robert F. Powelson. “The Commission has continually upgraded our website to serve as a comprehensive consumer-education resource, offering information in plain sight about what it means to shop, how to save, the different types of rates and products and where to begin when shopping.”
New PAPowerSwitch upgrades include:
— Easier navigation on a streamlined homepage;
— A zip code search on the homepage, leading to a graphic snapshot about savings opportunities, rates and options in a specific area;
— Larger and brighter consumer alerts on the homepage, notifying viewers of upcoming default rate changes and other pertinent reminders;
— A prominent “Education” button, directing users to videos and information about switching power, understanding your bill, how to choose a supplier, fixed and variable rates and consumer rights and protections; and
— A “Ways to Save” button, guiding consumers to a factual page on opportunities to conserve energy and save money.
The upgrades also are reflected on the mobile version of PAPowerSwitch.
Since the website’s launch in 2010, the Commission has continued to implement new consumer-protection measures, rulemakings and education tools related to electric generation suppliers (EGSs).
In addition to PAPowerSwitch enhancements, the PUC has passed several rulemakings, including accelerating the timeframe in which consumers can switch suppliers to allow faster switches between billing cycles; requiring EGSs to list terms and conditions more prominently on disclosures and contracts; and requiring additional, clearer EGS information on utility bills.
Consumers are urged to confirm who their electric supplier is, double-check the terms and conditions of their contract and use to assess their options and find potential savings.
Consumers are advised not to sign a contract without knowing the length of the contract, the price, whether it is fixed or variable and if there are any early termination fees. Customers on a variable rate are subject to fluctuations in the price of their electric consumption.
Information on fixed and variable electric rates is available online.

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