August 16, 2012 |
The Marcellus Shale Coalition, the natural gas industry trade group, is expanding its presence in Southeastern Pennsylvania by hiring Shari Williams, a former communications specialist at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and the wife of State Sen. Anthony H. Williams (D., Philadelphia). Williams, who worked with the PUC for 17 years, led consumer education events on energy and utility issues in Eastern Pennsylvania. She will take on a new role with the shale coalition as outreach manager in the Philadelphia area, where the industry is stepping up efforts to address public apprehension with fracking, which takes place mostly in western and northern part of the state.
July 19, 2011 |
An association of competitive electrical suppliers launched a campaign Monday to educate consumers about choosing power suppliers, including how to recognize some of the shady sales tactics that have given the industry a black eye. The Retail Energy Supply Association (RESA) unveiled a four-page consumer-education guide , an effort to sell a skeptical public on the virtues of giving up regulated utilities. "We're taking more of a leadership role in trying to facilitate the education of consumers about customer choice," David Fein, the group's president, said in a media conference call.
June 1, 2005 |
Whether you shop online or at the mall, companies you deal with know much more about you than you probably imagine. They may sell that information to other firms. And wherever it lands, it can be used to squeeze a higher price from you than from the next customer - even someone buying the exact same thing. Those are key conclusions of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center, who set out to compare marketplace realities with perceptions, and to examine how well consumers understand some surprising fallout from the Information Age. The researchers conclude that ignorance is common and that, far from bringing bliss, it leaves many consumers vulnerable to marketplace abuse because they do not understand how information about them can affect the prices they are offered, for worse or for better.
May 29, 2005 |
There are two unfulfilled passions in Margaret Spellings' life. Trained in voice and piano, she dreams of being a torch singer. The other, yet within reach, is domestic diva-hood, goddess of grand dinner parties, a la another woman with the initials M.S. First, though, for the Texas-bred secretary of education, there is the pressing matter of riding herd over the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The controversial education law requiring annual...
September 11, 2003 |
Mayor Street yesterday appointed Lance Haver, a longtime consumer activist, government critic and outsider, to be the city's first director of consumer affairs. Haver, who will turn 48 tomorrow, worked for nearly two decades at the Consumer Education and Protective Association, a group that strongly opposed such threats to consumers as utility rate increases and corporate greed. Haver, who will earn $90,000 annually and hire two staff members, said that he would build on the Street administration's successful efforts to lower auto-insurance rates by 20 percent for most Philadelphians.
September 10, 2003
A RABID dog would be our choice for the best head of an office designed to fight for consumers: a tenacious creature with both a bark and teeth enough to bite. Happily, that's what we're getting today when Mayor Street announces the appointment of consumer activist Lance Haver to head the new Office of Consumer Affairs. We have to admit that the choice of Haver is shocking in its rightness for the new office, created in May by the mayor, who was prompted to do so by a bill introduced in 2001 by City Councilman Darrell Clarke.
February 9, 2001 |
Besse Weiner, who co-founded the Consumer Education and Protective Association with her late husband, Max, and crusaded by his side for social and economic justice, died of natural causes Friday while staying with her daughter in Honduras. She was 87 and lived in East Oak Lane for many years. Besse Weiner often accompanied her husband to speak at state and local hearings, rallies and demonstrations, and helped him man his folding table outside City Hall, collecting signatures on various petitions while he railed against the system with his trademark bullhorn.
November 2, 2000 |
For too many Philadelphians, PGW has become Pathetic Gas Works. The city, which owns Philadelphia Gas Works, looked the other way while past management wasted millions of dollars. PGW purchased a new computer system that failed to accurately bill customers, used customers' money to pay for limousine rides, massages and bathrobes and gave managers perks to which they were never entitled. The city has continually looked the other way, ignoring these abuses because every year, PGW gives the city $18 million, regardless of how well/poorly the city manages the gas works.
September 5, 1999 |
William L. ten Cate, 65, who despite polio and confinement to a wheelchair operated a real estate company and was active in the Consumers Party, died of respiratory failure Aug. 27 at Keystone House of Wyndmoor, a hospice. He lived in Chestnut Hill. Mr. ten Cate had used a wheelchair since 1954, after graduating from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a business degree. He spent two years in an iron lung while undergoing treatments at Abington Memorial Hospital and later rehabilitation in Warm Springs, Ga. "He was never depressed because he always had a passion about life," said his wife of 18 years, Lilis Yuliani ten Cate.
August 5, 1998 |
Starved for cash after a warm winter that sharply reduced its revenue, the Philadelphia Gas Works is looking for ways to cut spending. Senior managers are under orders to cut overtime and consultants have been sent packing. Last month, James Hawes III, PGW's president and chief executive officer, told his senior managers that even petty expenditures under $500 would be closely reviewed. Now comes word that almost half of the company's meter readers have been shifted to new work - installing automated meter-reading units.