FEATURED ARTICLES
NEWS
October 16, 2001
DOESN'T IT just figure? The Public Utility Commission just announced it made a huge mistake in calculating the amount of rate increase it was granting Philadelphia Gas Works. Unfortunately, the mistake is not in PGW's favor. Instead of the $39 million base-rate increase the PUC approved last month, PGW will now get $5.5 million less. PGW's initial request was for $65 million. Ouch. This math error is likely to send PGW reeling to figure out how to pay its bills.
BUSINESS
July 4, 1989 | By Anthony Gnoffo Jr., Inquirer Staff Writer
The Public Utility Commission has closed an investigation of anonymous allegations of impropriety and waste by Bell of Pennsylvania in its decision to buy phone network-management software from IBM. In a June 30 letter to Bell general counsel Robert D. Stroud, the PUC's director of operations, John G. Alford, said that based on the "information available to the commission staff at this time, there appears to be no substance to the allegations and,...
NEWS
May 19, 2004 | By TOM CHARLES
THROUGH your editorial "The Heat Cheats," the Daily News continues to inaccurately blame the Public Utility Commission for PGW's financial woes. It is important to note that PGW only came under PUC regulations for standards and billing practices (Chapter 56) in September 2003 and that the company did not file a tariff that complied with the regulations until November. Past PGW management created their financial troubles long before legislation placed the utility under PUC jurisdiction.
NEWS
June 23, 1986
Utility lobbyists have been scurrying through the halls of the Capitol in Harrisburg painting a picture of doom and gloom if a bill reforming the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is enacted as currently written. Every Philadelphia Electric Co. customer and every customer of Duquesne Light in Pittsburgh ought to be making the same rounds because they have just as much to gain - or lose - depending on what becomes of the legislation. Pennsylvania Electric Association lobbyists assert that passage of certain language in the bill "will end electric-utility construction in Pennsylvania.
NEWS
June 29, 1987
A lot of people in Pennsylvania think William H. Smith and Daniel Clearfield would make excellent additions to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Unfortunately, however, a small but powerful lobbying force is trying to block their nominations to the five-member commission. Mr. Smith has gained a broad background in utility regulation as an administrative law judge for the PUC. Mr. Clearfield is an attorney with the state Office of Consumer Advocate and is widely respected for his professional expertise in utility matters, particularly the complicated issues involving deregulation of telephone service.
NEWS
January 16, 2006 | By WENDELL F. HOLLAND
AS NOTED BY Jonathan Stein of Community Legal Services (op-ed, Dec. 30), Old Man Winter is creating a lot of anxiety. While temperatures have moderated, the sting of high utility bills continues to have a chilling effect - especially on families whose budgets were already tight. High bills combined with low temperatures can send carefully balanced finances into a downward spiral that begins with missed bills and ends with termination notices and shutoffs under a new state law. The changes to the rules governing utility shutoffs, commonly called Chapter 14, altered the rules concerning cash deposits, reconnection and termination of service, payment arrangements and the filing of termination complaints by consumers.
NEWS
May 5, 1986
Half the members of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission should be elected and half appointed. If this is implemented the people of Pennsylvania would come out better than they are now. In the past, many increases were granted to the utility companies without careful or thorough investigation. Elected members are likely to be more responsive to the public. Amrit Lal West Chester.
BUSINESS
December 12, 1986 | By Andrew Cassel, Inquirer Staff Writer
Concerned about the explosive growth of cogeneration and other energy development projects in the state, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission yesterday voted to begin a wide-ranging investigation of the phenomenon with an eye toward tightening the rules for new projects. PUC Chairwoman Linda C. Taliaferro, saying she was concerned "whether our regulations are biased toward encouraging cogeneration without regard to the impact . . . upon ratepayers," proposed the re-examination, which could take up to a year.
NEWS
May 19, 1987 | By Walter F. Roche Jr., Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
Sidestepping concerns expressed by black legislators, Gov. Casey yesterday designated a controversial Democrat, William R. Shane, as chairman of the state Public Utility Commission. The designation, which is not subject to legislative review or approval, came on the last day for action under a 1986 state law. If the governor had not made a selection, the former chairman, Linda C. Taliaferro, automatically would have held the post another two years. As Casey noted in his statement, Taliaferro, a Republican, will continue to serve as a regular member of the commission until her term expires in two years.
NEWS
October 28, 1987 | By JOHN M. BAER, Daily News Staff Writer
Otto F. Hofmann has learned what it means when union leaders say you're a nice guy and thank you for stopping by. It means they're not supporting you. He also has learned about "working the halls" of the state Capitol to win political support and trying to gauge the success of that work. As of yesterday, Hofmann had visited close to 40 of the 50 senators. He says you get a lot of "no firm commitments. " These lessons, what could be called "the political education of Otto Hofmann," will come in handy in the days and weeks ahead.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
August 13, 2016 | By Andrew Maykuth, STAFF WRITER
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.
BUSINESS
August 7, 2016 | By Andrew Maykuth, Staff Writer
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.
BUSINESS
July 23, 2016 | By Andrew Maykuth, Staff Writer
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.
BUSINESS
July 18, 2016 | By Andrew Maykuth, STAFF WRITER
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.
BUSINESS
July 10, 2016 | By Andrew Maykuth, Staff Writer
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.
BUSINESS
July 2, 2016 | By Andrew Maykuth, STAFF WRITER
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.
BUSINESS
June 17, 2016 | By Andrew Maykuth, STAFF WRITER
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.
BUSINESS
June 11, 2016 | By Andrew Maykuth, Staff Writer
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.
BUSINESS
June 11, 2016 | By Andrew Maykuth, Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
June 4, 2016 | By Andrew Maykuth, STAFF WRITER
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.
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