There are two types of complaints that can be filed with the PUC, an informal complaint and a formal complaint. We recommend that you use the informal complaint process first, since many issues are resolved sooner through this simpler process. Before filing any complaint, please review our Consumer Complaint Options and the Complaint Checklist to see if all steps have been followed. For information on the Pennsylvania Code or Public Utility Code, see our Regulatory Information page.
If you want to file a complaint because you experienced a high electric bill due to a variable rate, you can file an informal complaint or formal complaint with the PUC. Before filing with the PUC, please make sure you first contact the utility to try and resolve your complaint. We recommend that you use the informal complaint process first, since many issues are resolved sooner through this simpler process. The toll free number to file an informal complaint is 1-800-692-7380.
You are not required to have a lawyer represent you in the complaint process before the Public Utility Commission. However, if you are interested in receiving legal representation, you may contact the Widener Harrisburg Civil Law Clinic located at 3605 Vartan Way, Harrisburg, PA 17110, by phone at 717-541-0320 or via email at email@example.com. For additional information see Widener Harrisburg's Civil Law Clinic's website. Based on your income, legal representation may be available to you at no cost or a reduced fee.
Filing Informal Complaints
When an informal complaint is filed through the Bureau of Consumer Services (BCS), a BCS investigator works to facilitate discussion between the parties in order to resolve the complaint. This process is much less time-consuming than the formal complaint process and usually results in a quicker resolution to the case. To file an informal complaint, call the complaint hotline toll free number at 1-800-692-7380 or check out our informal complaint form page.
You may also write to us at PUC, Bureau of Consumer Services, P.O. Box 3265, Harrisburg, PA 17105-3265 and explain the problem. Informal complaints against utilities are confidential and not available for public inspection.
Informal Transportation Complaints
Informal complaints regarding taxicabs or motor carriers (such as household moving companies or trucking companies) should be filed with the PUC Bureau of Transportation and Safety at P.O. Box 3265, Harrisburg, PA 17105-3265.
Consumers can submit informal complaints about taxi service here.
Filing Formal Complaints
The formal complaint process is different from the informal because it involves a legal proceeding before a Commission administrative law judge. This means that you and the utility must present facts on issues raised in your complaint to a PUC administrative law judge. However, this should not discourage you from filing a complaint.
Individuals or companies may file formal complaints. Individuals do not need a lawyer to file a formal complaint. However, companies must be represented by an attorney. Complaints are assigned to PUC administrative law judges, who hold hearings to gather evidence and then render decisions. The five PUC commissioners may then rule on the decisions at a public meeting.
The formal complaint process can take six months or more until your complaint is finally adjudicated. After the utility is given the opportunity to file an answer to your complaint, the case is assigned to the Office of Administrative Law Judge and scheduled for a hearing, at which you must meet your burden of proof and explain why your complaint has merit.
If you wish to file a formal complaint regarding an increase you experienced in your variable rate charged by your electric supplier - ONLY use the form entitled Formal Complaint Form. (Word or PDF)
You can download and save the formal complaint form on your computer by selecting Online Forms from the main menu. The Formal Complaint Form is set up in Word or PDF, so you can type on the screen to fill out the form and then print it out.
DO NOT USE the form called Formal Complaint to Proposed Rate Increase to file a formal complaint about an increase you experienced with a variable rate. This is the incorrect form and will be rejected for processing.
Register a Formal Complaint to a Proposed Rate Increase - If you would like to file a formal complaint against a utility company's proposed rate increase, you may fill out a Formal Complaint to a Proposed Rate Increase Form. Filing this form will make you a party to a legal proceeding or case. If you do not wish to be a party to the case, consider filing a Comment to Proposed Rate Increase.
Register a Comment to Proposed Rate Increase - If you wish to register your objection or comment to a proposed rate increase by your utility company, you may fill out an Comment to Proposed Rate Increase Form. Your comments to a proposed rate increase will be placed in the official document folder of the case for review by the presiding officer, the parties to the case and the Commission staff. In addition, a public input hearing may be scheduled in your area to give consumers an opportunity to tell the Commission in person what you think of the proposed rate increase.
Mediation and Formal Complaints
If you do file a formal complaint, we encourage you to consider mediation as a way to resolve your problem. Mediation is a voluntary, confidential and non-binding process through which a neutral third party, the mediator, assists the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable settlement of their disputes.
For more information, review the Mediation section that explains the goals and guidelines of mediation through the Office of Administrative Law Judge.