HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) will hold its last of five statewide annual PA “Be Utility Wise” events on Tuesday, Nov. 15, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Red Lion Inn, 4751 Lindle Rd., Harrisburg. The outreach events took place across Pennsylvania through October and November. The PUC’s Vice Chairman Andrew G. Place will provide welcome remarks at the event.
The theme for this year’s campaign is “Collaborating Resources to Empower our Community” – focusing on increasing community awareness of essential utility assistance programs.
“The good news is that there are a number of options available, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution,” said Vice Chairman Place. “There may be income limits and other restrictions, and it may take time to identify the best solutions, however, it is very important for consumers to reach out to their utilities as early as possible to learn about their options.”
According to data compiled by the PUC, Pennsylvania utilities spent nearly $459 million on various customer assistance programs last year, not counting private assistance or the federal Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Every year, these programs helped reduce the monthly bills for more than 280,000 electric customers and over 160,000 natural gas customers across the state – and enrollment and annual spending for these programs has increased dramatically over the past decade.
Additionally, PUC-required assistance services also support programs to help low-income customers modernize their heating systems and reduce their energy consumption – making current and future utility bills more affordable. Utilities, and their customers, also contribute several million dollars per year in hardship funds, assisting thousands of in-need families.
In addition to networking opportunities, the free “train-the-trainer” event will feature presentations from state agencies, local utility companies and other financial assistance programs in order to share ideas and services.
This year’s participants include the PUC, PPL Electric Utilities, UGI Utilities Inc., FirstEnergy, Columbia Gas of PA, Dollar Energy Fund, Pennsylvania American Water Company, Department of Human Services, MidPenn Legal Services, PA Housing Finance Agency, Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and the state’s Office of Consumer Advocate.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
For recent news releases and video of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our website at www.puc.pa.gov. Follow the PUC on Twitter – @PA_PUC for all things utility. “Like” Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Facebook for easy access to information on utility issues.
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