PUC Advances Amended Chapter 14 Implementation
Published on 2/25/2021
Seeks Further Public Comment on Proposed Changes to Consumer Protection Guidelines for Victims of Domestic Violence, Privacy Guidelines for Termination Notices and Form of a Medical Certificate
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today approved a Tentative Order seeking public comment from interested parties on implementation of the Amendments to Chapter 14 of the Public Utility Code (Chapter 14) related to Responsible Utility Customer Protection.
The Commission voted 4-0 to adopt the Tentative Order, which requests further comment following a comprehensive review of three remaining issues related to Chapter 14 and Chapter 56 of the PUC’s regulations (Chapter 56) by a Commission-directed working group consisting of representatives of the electric and natural gas utilities, consumer and industry advocates, low-income and consumer rights groups, and other key stakeholders.
The Tentative Order seeks further comment on the PUC’s proposals on the following matters:
- Clarifying how utilities apply Chapter 56 regulations to domestic violence victims under Protection from Abuse Order or other court order which provides clear evidence of domestic violence;
- Proposing consumer privacy guidelines relating to termination notices and procedures for enrollment and consent, including the use of electronic termination notices; and
- Creating a standard medical certificate format for consumers and medical professionals – a medical certificate verifies the medical need for a utility shutoff to be delayed or avoided.
On Feb. 28, 2019, the Commission adopted a Final Rulemaking Order revising the 52 Pa. Code Chapter 56 regulations that administer and enforce Chapter 14 of the Public Utility Code.
On Aug. 29, 2019, the Commission issued a Secretarial Letter announcing the establishment of a Chapter 56 working group to address these three remaining issues.
Interested parties may submit written comments, via the Commission’s electronic filing system, referencing Docket No. L-2020-3019521 within 45 days of publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Comments shall be filed consistent with the Commission’s Secretarial Letter issued on July 27, 2020, regarding filings with the PUC.
On Oct. 22, 2014, Governor Tom Corbett signed into law HB 939, or Act 155 of 2014. The Act reauthorized and amended Chapter 14. The Act is intended to protect responsible bill paying customers from rate increases attributable to other customers’ delinquencies in payment. The Act provides public utilities with collection mechanisms and procedures that promote timelier collections, while protecting vulnerable customers by ensuring that utility service remains available to all customers on reasonable terms and conditions. The legislation is applicable to electric distribution utilities, water distribution utilities, natural gas distribution utilities, steam heat utilities, and wastewater utilities.
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.
# # #
Docket No.: L-2015-2508421
Need More Help?
Public utility documents available electronically include case dockets, public meeting orders and more.
Filing & Resources
Find utility-related reports, laws and regulations, federal filings, tariffs, procedures and more.
Consumers, utilities and attorneys can save time by submitting documents to the PUC electronically.