Thursday, May 18, 2023

PUC Adopts Changes To LIURP Regs For Comment On Electric, Natural Gas Utility Programs To Provide Weatherization, Energy Use Reduction Services To Low-Income Customers

On May 18, the
Public Utility Commission adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Order proposing amendments to current regulations for the Low-Income Usage Reduction Program (LIURP) and requesting public comment. 

The LIURP programs are sponsored by electric and natural gas public utilities to provide weatherization and energy use reduction services for low-income customers.

"LIURPs are significant programs because consumers can see positive impacts in energy savings, bill reduction, improved health, safety and comfort levels, arrearage reduction, reduced collection activity, improved bill payment behavior, reduced use of supplemental fuels and secondary heating devices, more affordable low-income housing, reduction in homelessness and less housing abandonment," said Commissioner Kathryn L. Zerfuss in a statement.

“As the LIURP regulations have not been amended since 1998, now is the appropriate time to revisit our regulations based on the knowledge and experience this Commission, public utilities, customers, and vested partners have gained over the years," said Zerfuss

“These proposed amendments are consistent with the Commission’s recent interests in improving coordination and efficiencies within our public utilities’ universal service programs and maximizing the allocated dollars for these programs to the benefit of residential customers,” said the Commissioner.

On Dec. 16, 2016, the Commission issued an initial Secretarial Letter seeking stakeholder input related to the scope of a proposed rulemaking to update the LIURP regulations.  

The NOPR summarizes the previous stakeholder comments to the 2016 Secretarial Letter, sets forth the PUC’s proposed amendments, and provides an opportunity for public comments after the NOPR is published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. 

Submitting Comments

Comments will not be due until the NOPR is published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Interested parties may submit written comments within 45 days of publication of the PUC’s NOPR in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.  At the close of this comment period, interested parties have an opportunity to file written reply comments within 30 days.  

Both written comments and written reply comments should reference Docket No. L-2016-2557886

Interested parties submitting written comments and/or written reply comments are encouraged to use the Commission’s electronic filing system.  An eFiling account may be opened and used through the Commission’s website.

Interested parties filing hard copies of written comments or written reply comments may do so with the PUC’s Secretary’s Bureau.  

Individuals not eFiling are required to mail – preferable by overnight delivery – one original filing, signed and dated, with the Commission’s Secretary at: Rosemary Chiavetta, Secretary, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Commonwealth Keystone Building, 400 North Street, Harrisburg, PA  17120

The Commission notes that all pages of filed comments and reply comments, with the exception of a cover letter, must be numbered.  

Comments and reply comments filed during the public comment period will be forwarded to the appropriate House and Senate Standing Committees and the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC).  IRRC will post the comments and reply comments on its website.

Contact persons for this proceeding are Regina Carter, PUC Bureau of Consumer Services, at 717-425-5441 or;  and Karen Thorne, Regulatory Review Assistant, PUC Law Bureau, at

The PUC’s existing LIURP regulations apply to natural gas distribution companies and electric distribution companies.  These public utilities are required to include a LIURP as part of their universal service and energy conservation programs. 

These programs also include Customer Assistance Programs (CAPs), Hardship Funds, and Customer Assistance Referral and Evaluation (CARES) programs. 

For more information, visit PUC Docket No. L-2016-2557886

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