Friday, March 23, 2018

PUC Invites Comments On Proposal To Enhance Consumer Information About Electricity Shopping

The Public Utility Commission published notice in the March 24 PA Bulletin seeking public comment on proposed amendments to regulations for retail electricity service.
The Commission voted 5-0 on December 7, 2017 to adopt proposed changes to Chapter 54 of the Public Utility Code regarding customer information, including disclosure statements for residential and small business customers.  
These changes, initiated by the PUC’s Office of Competitive Market Oversight, are intended to provide customers with accurate, timely pricing information when they are shopping for electric generation suppliers (EGSs).
“The retail electric market continues to evolve, and as this happens so must Commission regulations evolve,” noted PUC Chairman Gladys M. Brown in a statement at Thursday’s public meeting.
Vice Chairman Andrew G. Place also offered a statement regarding the proposed rulemaking, stressing the importance of input in the process.
“I want to emphasize that this is a proposed rulemaking, and actively encourage parties to provide comments to assist the Commission in providing the necessary guidance and rules to ensure that customers are fully informed regarding the purchase of electricity, including the associated contract terms and conditions,” Commissioner Place said.
Public comments are being sought on several proposals, including:
-- A ban on early termination fees once an EGS has provided the customer with an initial contract renewal notice;
-- Requirements that EGSs display their prices in a format that allows for easier price-comparisons;
-- Requirements that any introductory pricing be clearly identified and explained to the customer, and disclose both the introductory price and the price after the introductory period expires;
-- Requirements to provide more information about variable prices;
-- Use of common, consistent terminology by EGSs in their customer communications, including marketing, billing and disclosure statements; and
-- Simplifying the format of customer contract summaries that customers receive with their full EGS disclosure statement.
Interested parties may submit comments up to 60 days from the date the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin (May 23) by providing written comments to the Public Utility Commission, Attn: Secretary, P.O. Box 3265, Harrisburg, PA  17105-3265.
Comments may also be filed electronically through the PUC’s e-File System.  Docket No.: L-2017-2628991.
Click Here for a copy of the proposed rule.

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