Skip to content

Press Release

PUC Vice Chairman Stephen M. DeFrank to Participate in Philadelphia’s ‘Be Utility Wise’ Consumer Education Conference on March 22

Published on 3/21/2023

Filed under: Consumer Education Electric Gas Telecommunications Water and Wastewater

PUC Joins PECO Energy, Utilities & Community Partners in Promoting Consumer Awareness, Utility Education & Related Support for Vulnerable Populations

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) is joining PECO Energy, local utilities and front-line community partners in hosting Philadelphia’s annual “Be Utility Wise” human services conference on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, with a daylong program in PECO’s Energy Hall, 2301 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA  19103.

With this year’s theme “Creating Connections for Vulnerable Communities,” the human services conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – and include “A Conversation with PA PUC Vice Chairman Stephen M. DeFrank” at 10:45 a.m. 

“Each year, the PUC is proud to partner with utilities, non-profit organizations, and front-line providers on the Be Utility Wise consumer educational conferences,” said Vice Chairman DeFrank.  “Many families and individuals are still facing a great deal of uncertainty – and many of them remain unsure of where they can turn for help.

“Be Utility Wise is the perfect time to meet and collaborate on the most critical issues and needs – to share insights and solutions – and to reaffirm our collective commitment in helping consumers find and access fundamental services and critical assistance.”

The Philadelphia “Be Utility Wise” is one of a series of free “train-the-trainer” events held each year across the Commonwealth bringing together front-line community partners, utilities and key stakeholders in highlighting energy efficiency, conservation and customer assistance programs intended to help low-income households maintain essential utility services. 

Individuals interested in registering for the conference may do so online or by calling 215-560-6901.  You will need to provide complete information including name; email address; the organization’s name and address; your phone number; and the county/counties that you serve.  The registration deadline to participate in this year’s event is Tuesday, March 21, 2023, at 5 p.m.

Throughout the day the 2023 human services conference also includes discussions on the following:

  • A utility panel highlighting the unique challenges facing low-to-moderate income families in Southeastern Pennsylvania;
  • An overview on domestic violence as presented by Women Against Abuse;
  • A panel highlighting vulnerable customer segments and working to create more awareness and understanding of the unique challenges they face; and
  • A “Fireside Chat” with PECO’s leadership team.

Vice Chairman DeFrank was nominated to serve as Commissioner by Gov. Tom Wolf on Sept. 20, 2022, and confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate on Oct. 19, 2022.  Among his top priorities at the Commission are increasing the availability of broadband telecommunications services and improving accessibility, efficiency, and retention of consumer affordability assistance programs.

At the Commission’s March 16, 2023, Public Meeting, Vice Chairman DeFrank and PUC Commissioner Kathryn L. Zerfuss initiated the commencement of a proceeding that will consider improvements to consumer enrollment and retainment in the universal service programs overseen by the PUC, with the goal of making the processes as efficient as possible for the consumer and utility as well as maintaining proper diligence and verification for eligibility (Docket No. M-2023-3038944). 

“We seek efficiencies in these programs and are trying to make those dollars go as far as possible,” Vice Chairman DeFrank explained.

About the PUC

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.

Visit the PUC’s website at for recent news releases and video of select proceedings. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. Search for the “Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission” or “PA PUC” on your favorite social media channel for updates on utility issues and other helpful consumer information.

# # #




Learn how to submit a complaint with a public utility. You can also search existing formal complaints.

Get Details

Subscribe to Press Releases

Keep track of PUC news and activities with press releases delivered straight to your email inbox.


Need More Help?

If you can't find what you're looking for here, please contact the PA Public Utility Commission. Call us at 1-800-692-7380 or contact us online.

Document Search

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.