PUC Seeks Comments on Utility Terminations and Consumer Protections

PUC Explores Possible Safeguards for At-Risk Consumers from Concerned Persons and Organizations Before PUC August 27 Public Meeting

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) Chairman Gladys Brown Dutrieuille today issued a letter seeking comments about the PUC’s current moratorium on utility terminations, and asking for input regarding protections for at-risk consumers, should the PUC’s moratorium on all utility terminations be lifted.

The pandemic and its economic effects have not disappeared, and no one knows how long they will remain.

PUC Termination Moratorium & Future Consumer Protections

In seeking comment from concerned individuals and organizations, Chairman Dutrieuille notes the importance of safeguarding consumers AND ensuring safe and reliable utility service as Pennsylvania continues to focus on slowing the spread of COVID-19 and economic recovery.

“While it would be easy to simply keep the absolute moratorium in place, protecting 100% of the customers for the duration, I do not believe that is sustainable.  Eventually, lack of payment to utilities could reach a critical mass where the provision of safe and reliable public utility service could be impacted.”

This health crisis has caused significant economic hardship for many utility customers and utility income is being negatively affected as well. 

How to Comment

Comments must be both eFiled – using an eFiling account through the Commission’s website - and emailed directly with the Secretary of the Commission at rchiavetta@pa.gov – referencing PUC docket number M-2020-3019244.

Comments must be received by the close of business (4:30 p.m. EDT) on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, in order to be considered.

Next Steps

As noted in today’s letter, Chairman Dutrieuille intends to address the termination moratorium at the PUC’s August 27, 2020, Public Meeting – underscoring the importance of receiving timely comment from concerned parties.

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