PUC Approves Settlement with PPL Electric Utilities Corporation Regarding Improper Billing Practices
Published on 8/5/2021
Filed under: Electric
PPL Will Pay Fine, Continue Implementing New Operating Procedures After Failing to Properly Bill Residential Customers During 2017-2018
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today approved a settlement between PPL Electric Utilities Corporation (PPL) and the PUC’s independent Bureau of Investigation & Enforcement (I&E), following an informal investigation into the company’s improper billing of multiple residential customers during 2017 and 2018.
The Commission voted 4-0 to adopt the Joint Petition for Approval of Settlement between PPL and I&E. I&E initiated an informal investigation based on a referral by the Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Services (BCS). Between June 2018 and April 2019, BCS became aware of a billing issue regarding multiple PPL residential customers who complained that PPL failed to provide monthly bills for consecutive months. In response to this “no bill” situation, each customer eventually received a large bill from the company for multiple, consecutive months of service.
I&E determined that technical issues, including a backlog of change meter orders, were the cause of the alleged violations – which centered on the company’s failure to provide adequate, efficient, safe and reasonable service under Section 1501 of the Public Utility Code, as well as comply with provisions of Chapter 56 of the PUC’s regulations concerning billing frequency.
As part of the settlement, PPL agrees to the following:
- Continue taking corrective actions and implementing revisions to its operating procedures which will act as safeguards against future billing issues;
- Continue implementing new procedures designed to identify and replace malfunctioning meters in a timeframe that does not affect the customer’s billing cycle;
- Continue with a systematic identification of consecutive estimate accounts, allowing the company to identify and remedy a no bill situation prior to a second estimated bill being generated and sent to the customer; and
- Pay a civil penalty of $5,000.
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-2020-3011455
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