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Press Release

PUC Finalizes $200,000 Settlement with Penelec over Indiana County Termination, Directs Money to Support Low-Income Program

Published on 3/12/2009

Filed under: Electric

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today finalized a settlement with Pennsylvania Electric Co. (Penelec) that includes a $200,000 contribution to a low-income program and ends an informal investigation into an electric termination that preceded a fire in Indiana, Indiana County.

The Commission voted 5-0 to approve the settlement agreement, which includes a $200,000 contribution to the Dollar Energy Fund, a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to customers who are on a low or fixed income. Under the proposed settlement, the company may not recover the contribution from ratepayers.

On Jan. 10, 2008, the PUC’s independent Prosecutory Staff initiated an informal investigation into Penelec’s handling of a discontinuance of service request and an application for service at the same residence. Penelec terminated service to the residence on Nov. 1, 2007, with a request for service on file from an occupant. A Nov. 3, 2007, fire at the residence seriously injured an occupant.

According to the settlement, the company also will:

  • Transfer account balances in a consistent manner;
  • Issue “Dear Occupant” letters in a timely manner when use in a “vacant” residence occurs;
  • Comply with notice requirements by reviewing company records when an applicant calls after an account has been disconnected;
  • Not require a notarized lease, deed or mortgage documents of applicants for service;
  • Not require proof of residency to begin service at a residence previously deemed vacant when the applicant accepts responsibility for the usage; and
  • Communicate to an applicant a specific timeframe in which the applicant has to comply with the requirements for service.

If the matter had been litigated, Prosecutory Staff would have contended that Penelec violated certain sections of the state’s Public Utility Code and the Commission’s regulations while Penelec would have contested the matter.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities to ensure safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protect the public interest; educate consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; further economic development; and foster new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.

For recent news releases, audio of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our Web site at

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Docket No. M-2008-2027681







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