August 13, 2016 |
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Thursday approved a $5.3 million settlement with Respond Power L.L.C. to resolve complaints that the retail electricity supplier engaged in deceptive and misleading practices during the 2014 polar vortex. Respond was one of five suppliers targeted by Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane and acting Consumer Advocate Tanya J. McCloskey for charging high prices during the severe winter. Respond was charged with making misleading and deceptive promises of savings, switching customers without their consent and failing to provide accurate pricing information.
August 7, 2016 |
The reliability of Pennsylvania's electric utilities "is trending in a positive direction, and we expect more improvement in 2016," an annual Public Utility Commission report says. Peco and PPL Electric Utilities, which serve much of the region, had the two best records for reliability among the state's seven large electric-distribution companies, according to the PUC report to be released Monday. The PUC's reliability measures include tallies of the average number of outages each customer suffers per year, and the average outage duration in minutes.
July 23, 2016 |
Anticipating traffic congestion from the Democratic National Convention and the SEPTA rail crisis, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Thursday passed an emergency order allowing Uber to temporarily put older cars on the road in Philadelphia's suburbs. The PUC voted 4-0 to lift restrictions requiring vehicles to be no older than 10 model years and have no more than 350,000 miles on the odometer. The order will allow Uber to deploy vehicles 15 model years and newer in its service in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties.
July 18, 2016 |
Maeetta Hardy did not have the resources to replace the furnace of the Germantown house where her family has lived for nearly four decades. "God knows that stove was old," she said. So Hardy welcomed a Philadelphia Gas Works contractor who recently installed an efficient, new gas furnace and hot-water system in her 116-year-old house, at no charge. "I wished I had the money to fix the things, but I don't," said Hardy. Hardy, 69, is among about 2,100 PGW low-income customers who received weatherization and efficiency improvements in the last year.
July 10, 2016 |
Two administrative law judges have recommended that the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission penalize an electric supplier $5 million for charging its variable-rate customers high prices during the 2014 Polar Vortex. The order Thursday by Administrative Law Judges Elizabeth H. Barnes and Joel H. Cheskis against Blue Pilot Energy L.L.C. is the latest punitive action taken against a competitive energy supplier after power markets went haywire during that harsh winter. The judges found that Blue Pilot, based in Las Vegas, failed to provide accurate pricing information, charged prices that did not conform to its disclosure statement, misleadingly and deceptively promised savings, and lacked good faith in its handling of consumer complaints.
July 2, 2016 |
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has approved a settlement requiring retail electricity supplier IDT Energy Inc. to pay about $6.75 million in penalties and refunds for deceptive marketing practices related to high bills during the winter of 2014. IDT will pay $2.4 million in refunds to eligible consumers, in addition to the $4.2 million it has already paid. The company also will pay a civil penalty of $25,000 and contribute $75,000 to the Electric Distribution Companies' hardship funds.
June 17, 2016 |
The Pennsylvania Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved the nomination of David Sweet, a Philadelphia lawyer and adviser to former Gov. Rendell, to a five-year term on the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Sweet, 67, a Democrat, was nominated by Gov. Wolf last month to replace Pamela A. Witmer, whose term expired at the end of March. Sweet was a senior advisor to Wolf, focusing on energy and economic development issues, and served as liaison to the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority.
June 11, 2016 |
A chastened Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Thursday revised its proposed "net-metering" regulations to bring them into alignment with a directive from the Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission, which said the PUC had overstepped its bounds. Net-metering is the practice of incentivizing customer generators with the full retail price for any surplus power they generate, rather than the wholesale price given to commercial generators. By a 4-0 vote, the PUC revised the rules that set limits for customers who are paid the retail price of electricity for any surplus power they generate from sources such as solar panels.
June 11, 2016 |
Under pressure from Uber's allies to ease up on an "innovative" business, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission voted Thursday to reconsider its record $11.4 million fine against the ride-sharing service. The PUC voted, 4-0, to conduct a rehearing of its April 21 decision to fine Uber for operating without a license in 2014. It also extended the deadline for Uber to pay its fine until the reconsideration process is completed. No schedule was set for the rehearing. The PUC's Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement, which had recommended a bigger fine against Uber for ignoring cease-and-desist orders until it was licensed, defended the penalty as "an appropriate reaction to Uber's defiant corporate culture.
June 4, 2016 |
The Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission Thursday formally disapproved of the Public Utility Commission's regulations that set limits for "net-metering" customers who generate their own power from sources such as solar panels. The regulations, which passed the PUC by a 3-2 vote in February, would have allowed "customer-generators" to produce up to 200 percent of their annual power needs and receive retail electricity prices for any surplus they sell back to the grid.