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NEWS
July 23, 2013 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Peg Keeley last saw her son alive 916 days ago - she keeps count - when Mark Keeley walked out the door of the family's Fox Chase home to work the evening shift at Philadelphia Gas Works. It was Jan. 18, 2011. That cold winter's night, the 19-year-old gas worker was killed when natural gas from a cracked high-pressure main exploded, unleashing a fireball so powerful it destroyed two rowhouses on Torresdale Avenue in Tacony. Mark Keeley was just outside the chiropractor's office that blew up, drilling holes in the street to let gas trapped below the pavement escape.
NEWS
July 18, 2013 | BY JAN RANSOM, Daily News Staff Writer ransomj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
THE PENNSYLVANIA Public Utility Commission yesterday approved a $500,000 fine levied on the Philadelphia Gas Works for a series of safety violations that led to a deadly explosion in Tacony in 2011. The PUC expressed regret that the penalty could not be higher. "We remain far from convinced that these amounts adequately penalize PGW for their numerous actions and inaction that culminated in these devastating losses," wrote PUC Chairman Robert Powelson and Vice Chairman John Coleman Jr. The PUC's Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement filed a complaint in 2011, including 334 gas-safety violations related to the explosion that left 19-year-old PGW worker Mark Keeley dead, five people injured and thousands of dollars in property damaged.
BUSINESS
June 14, 2013 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Though there are no natural-gas wells near Southeastern Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia region will receive nearly $3.4 million of the $202.5 million collected last year from the state's Marcellus Shale impact fee. Philadelphia alone will get nearly $1.3 million from the fee imposed on "unconventional" wells drilled into deep shale formations, according to figures released Thursday by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Four suburban counties will split about $2.1 million.
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.
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