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Press Release

PUC Seeks Comment on Proposed Settlement with PECO Energy Company Regarding Past Improper Electric Service Terminations

Published on 5/6/2021

Filed under: Electric

Changes Initiated by PECO Call Center Vendor Caused Computer Errors, Improper Terminations to Nearly 50,000 Electric Customers in 2018-19

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued for comment a proposed settlement agreement between PECO Energy Company (PECO) and the PUC’s independent Bureau of Investigation & Enforcement (I&E), following an informal investigation into the improper service termination for approximately 49,500 electric customers between June 25, 2018, and Sept. 10, 2019.

The Commission voted 4-0 to issue for comment the proposed settlement between PECO and I&E.  Interested parties will have 25 days to file comments on the proposed settlement upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin - in accordance with the Commission’s Emergency Order at Docket No. M-2020-3019262.  All comments shall be filed through the PUC’s eFiling system.  Instructions on eFiling, including how to open a PUC eFiling account, are contained in the Commission’s Order.

Proposed settlement includes PECO’s ongoing implementation of system safeguards, a significant civil penalty and contribution to assistance fund.

On June 25, 2018, PECO’s call center third-party vendor made a dialer platform change resulting in two separate computer errors that caused the improper service terminations.

PECO discovered the first error on Aug. 9, 2018 and suspended all service terminations.  This error led to the termination of a large number of electric customers without those customers first receiving the required second seventy-two-hour telephone call to either the customer or an adult occupant of the household at least three days, or seventy-two hours, prior to the scheduled termination. 

PECO reported the incident to the Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Services (BCS) on Aug. 16, 2018, and BCS referred the matter for investigation to I&E.  PECO resolved the first issue on Aug. 20, 2018.

On Sept. 10, 2019 PECO discovered a second error that led to the company’s termination of service for a large number of customers on a day different than that on which the previous service termination occurred due to the first error.  PECO again suspended all service terminations until Sept. 12, 2019, which was the date the second error was resolved.

As part of the proposed settlement, PECO has agreed to the following:

  • Continue taking corrective actions and implementing revisions to its operating procedures which will act as safeguards against future termination issues;

  • Contribute $25,000 to the company’s Matching Energy Assistance Fund in 2021;

  • Summarize and report the results of its regulatory noticing with BCS for a two-year period; and

  • Pay a civil penalty of $50,000.

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-2021-3014286




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