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BUSINESS
May 27, 2013 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Peco Energy Co. crossed the wrong customer when it dismissed Mari Jensen's complaint two years ago. "I'm told I am like a dog with a bone," she said. Jensen lives in Concord Township, Delaware County, with her husband, Arthur. They spent about $30,000 in 2010 to install a rooftop solar system on their Sleighride Road ranch house. For the last 19 months, the Jensens have fought a surreal David-and-Goliath battle with Peco over the formula the utility uses to pay them and other owners of solar systems for the power they produce and sell to the grid.
NEWS
April 5, 2013
Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale drilling fee revenue fell by 3 percent to $198 million last year because of lower natural gas prices, according to figures released Wednesday by the Public Utility Commission. Gas companies were assessed an impact fee of $45,000 for each of the 1,357 new horizontal wells drilled in 2012. In 2011, first-year wells were assessed an annual fee of $50,000. The impact-fee law provides for the levy to decline if the price of natural gas goes down, said Jennifer Kocher, the PUC's spokeswoman.
NEWS
February 15, 2013
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission fined Germantown Cab Co. $9,950 on Thursday for overcharging customers and failing to meet vehicle requirements. The company, which provides taxi, paratransit, and limousine services, set its meters to charge a higher rate than its PUC-established rate, the commission said. Vehicles also failed PUC inspections by not properly securing a rear seat, not displaying a required complaint decal, not displaying PUC certificate numbers, and not having a fuel tank filler cap in place.
BUSINESS
February 1, 2013 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is stepping up promotion of natural-gas shopping for residential customers, a once-moribund market that is showing signs of life. The PUC this week formally launched PAGasSwitch.com, modeled on the agency's successful electricity-shopping website. While nearly two million electricity customers, or 35 percent, have signed up with competitive power suppliers, the market for natural gas is more subdued. About 350,000 gas customers, or 12 percent, have switched.
NEWS
January 31, 2013 | By Andrew Maykuth, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is stepping up promotion of natural-gas shopping for residential customers, a once-moribund market that is showing signs of life. The PUC this week formally launched PAGasSwitch.com, modeled on the agency's successful electricity-shopping website. While nearly 2 million electricity customers have signed up with competitive power suppliers, the market for natural gas is more subdued. About 350,000 gas customers, or 12 percent, have switched.
NEWS
December 18, 2012
Pennsylvania has more retail electricity suppliers than any other state, according to an industry organization that assesses competitive power markets. The Annual Baseline Assessment of Choice in Canada and the United States counted 47 retail suppliers in Pennsylvania, and ranked the state second overall behind Texas, the most active market in the country. The report commended the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission for constructing market rules that encourage competition. More than 1.9 million Pennsylvania customers - 34 percent - have switched suppliers, according to the PUC's website, www.papowerswitch.com .    - Andrew Maykuth
NEWS
November 15, 2012
The head of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Wednesday told a state Senate panel that the efforts of utilities to restore service following Hurricane Sandy were well coordinated and showed improvement over the response to several big storms in 2011. PUC Chairman Robert F. Powelson told the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee that 90 percent of the state's 1.5 million outages were restored four days after the storm hit. "Given the number of outages and the extent of the damage, this was an impressive feat," he said.
NEWS
November 9, 2012
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Thursday unanimously approved a $75,000 civil penalty against Peco Energy Co. for failing to follow procedures related to a 2009 gas leak and explosion at a house in Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County. A crack in a four-inch cast iron main allowed gas to leak into the crawl space of a house in the 600 block of Summit Street in Swedeland, which caused a "low-level explosion and fire" on Dec. 26, 2009. There were no injuries. The PUC criticized Peco for failing to follow its procedures for identifying and classifying leak migration.
NEWS
October 28, 2012
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission was ordered Friday by a state judge to stop reviewing or challenging municipal ordinances that affect natural gas drilling, the same day the agency admitted to miscalculating how much money some municipalities will receive from the drilling industry. PUC spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher could not say exactly how the error occurred or which municipalities were affected. Kocher also declined to comment on the order by Commonwealth Court Senior Judge Keith Quigley.
BUSINESS
September 9, 2012 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
State regulators on Friday stepped up their inquiry into the safety of Peco Energy Co.'s smart-meter installation program, which the utility suspended last month after some devices caught fire. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission scheduled an informational meeting for Thursday at its Harrisburg offices and has summoned representatives from Peco and its three meter vendors. Peco, in a formal written response Friday to questions from the PUC, updated the number of meters that have overheated from 15 to 26. Some resulted in fires that damaged the area where the meter is mounted to the wall, and three caused fires that spread beyond the meter, said Cathy Engel Menendez, Peco's spokeswoman.
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