June 8, 2012 |
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Thursday approved a 4.1 percent rate increase for Aqua Pennsylvania, less than half of the water utility's original request. The monthly bill for a typical residential customer using 4,745 gallons per month would increase $1.99 from $52.86 to $54.85. The commission approved a settlement for a $16.7 million annual increase that had been reached among Aqua, the Commission's Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement, the state's Office of Consumer Advocate and the Aqua Large Users Group.
June 2, 2012 |
Mass acceptance of electric cars and natural-gas-powered trucks is still a few years away, but the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Thursday pondered the potential for alternative-fuel vehicles to overwhelm critical infrastructure like the electric grid and gas utilities. "Should we be worried?" commission chairman Robert F. Powelson wondered at the end of a six-hour PUC forum at Drexel University. "Who pays for it? That's a question as you make upgrades to the distribution system.
May 25, 2012 |
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Thursday unanimously approved a motion to assess 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. The proposed penalty, which is open for public comment for 20 days, is more than double the $35,000 civil settlement that Peco and the PUC's staff had agreed to. Commissioner Wayne E. Gardner proposed the stiffer penalty because he said Peco had failed to remediate a corrosion issue though it was aware of leaks in the area.
April 5, 2012 |
The Delaware River Port Authority will replace its top lawyer next month with a former aide to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Richard Brown, 68, of Philadelphia, will retire as general counsel, and Danielle McNichol, who joined the DRPA on Wednesday as deputy general counsel, is to take his place. McNichol, 43, of Glen Mills, is former counsel to the chairman of the PUC and was an associate vice president of human resources for the Temple University Health System and counsel to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
April 5, 2012 |
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission investigators on Thursday filed a formal complaint seeking to revoke the license of Glacial Energy of Pennsylvania, Inc. for allegedly omitting information in its 2009 application to be an electric generation supplier. The complaint is the PUC's first attempt to put a supplier in Pennsylvania's robust competitive electricity market out of business. The PUC's Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement alleged that Glacial Energy did not report that its chief executive, Gary Mole, had an ownership interest in Franklin Power Co., an electricity supplier whose license was revoked in Texas in 2006.
March 28, 2012 |
Philadelphia's most prominent advocacy law firm for the poor is urging the state to extend a moratorium on utility shutoffs for thousands of low-income households because the state Department of Public Welfare has a large backlog of applications for a federal home energy assistance program. In a March 23 letter to Robert F. Powelson, chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, lawyers from Community Legal Services of Philadelphia asked the commission to tell utilities to hold off on terminating utility service to people with pending applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
February 12, 2012 |
Pennsylvania regulators are taking steps to begin safety checks of some natural gas pipelines in the Marcellus Shale regions - hiring inspectors and drafting new rules that will bring the state in line with the rest of the nation. But a dispute continues over whether the state oversight goes far enough. The new safety-inspection and construction regulations still will not apply in the most rural areas of shale country, the hotbed for new pipeline projects, with up to 25,000 miles being built or on the drawing boards.
January 26, 2012 |
Members of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, citing concerns over Philadelphia's aging natural gas pipelines, have expressed frustration at the slow pace of a city study about privatizing Philadelphia Gas Works. Some members of the commission, who met Tuesday with The Inquirer's editorial board, want to renew pressure on the city to sell the utility, saying a private buyer could draw on greater resources to replace the 1,500 miles of brittle cast-iron mains that will take the cash-strapped utility 85 years to replace at its current pace.
January 6, 2012 |
Philadelphia Gas Works chief executive Craig E. White on Thursday expressed "disappointment" with a stinging 334-count complaint by state regulators that alleges the utility botched its response to a fatal gas-main leak last January. White, in a message in the utility's internal monthly newsletter, defended PGW's response to the Jan. 18 explosion in Tacony that killed PGW worker Mark Keeley and injured five employees. On Dec. 15, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission alleged that PGW "failed to take required steps to minimize the danger of accidental ignition of gas," but the panel stopped short of saying PGW caused the blast.