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PUC Continues Investigation of Alternative Rate Design; Seeks Additional Stakeholder Comments on Potential Benefits and Next Steps

March 02, 2017

HARRISBURG – As part of an ongoing study of alternatives to traditional ratemaking principles, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today encouraged additional comment from key stakeholders to further explore potential benefits or shortcomings of different rate methodologies, along with issues or concerns that may be unique to particular utility sectors.

Today’s Tentative Order was approved 5-0 by the Commissioners.

This most recent action comes following the review of extensive testimony and comments that were received in response to an en banc hearing in Harrisburg which was hosted by the PUC in March 2016. That hearing drew a diverse group of parties to discuss whether alternative rate methodologies could help utilities appropriately balance declining demand with energy efficiency and conservation programs.

The 2016 hearing generated a mix of comments from various stakeholders, including utilities, consumer and business advocates, citizens’ groups, environmental organizations, trade and industrial associations, and other concerned parties. Nearly all the parties noted that this is a complicated issue, with no “one size fits all” solution, especially given the diverse size and structure of Pennsylvania’s utilities.

Today’s PUC Order includes a series of questions related to specific industry sectors, including electric, natural gas, water and wastewater utilities. Additionally, the Commission is seeking comment on how to best proceed, including whether a policy statement, regulations or legislation would be recommended or required.

As noted by the Commission, utilities in Pennsylvania have employed some alternative rate methodologies. This ongoing discussion is intended to further explore the reasonableness, efficacy and potential benefits of other alternatives.

Comments regarding alternative ratemaking should be submitted within 45days, and any reply comments should be submitted within 75 days. All comments must reference PUC Docket Number M-2015-2518883. Comments may be filed electronically through the Commission’s e-File System, or sent to the following address:

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
Attn: Secretary
P.O. Box 3265
Harrisburg, PA 17105-3265

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.

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Docket No.: M-2015-2518883

Contact:Nils Hagen-Frederiksen
Press Secretary

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
Press Office
P.O. Box 3265, Harrisburg, PA 17105-3265
(717) 787-5722 FAX (717) 787-4193

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