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Press Release

PUC to Weigh Comments on Intermediate Recommendations on Electric Utility Default Service Plans

Published on 10/14/2011

Filed under: Electric

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued for comment intermediate recommendations to guide the state’s electric distribution companies (EDCs) in developing upcoming default service plans.

The Commission voted 4-0 to receive comments on intermediate recommendations from the PUC’s Office of Competitive Markets Oversight (OCMO) that are intended to serve as guidance to the EDCs in developing the format and structure of their upcoming default service plans. The recommendations are part of the PUC’s ongoing investigation of Pennsylvania's retail electricity market and technical conferences that are being held to address intermediate and long-term issues pertaining to the competitive market.

The proposed intermediate recommendations are intended to provide EDCs with the flexibility to craft default service plan filings in a manner in which they seem appropriate. These recommendations also are designed to:

  • Ensure that the upcoming default service plans do not hinder the ability of the Commission to implement changes that will be addressed within the investigation;
  • Advise EDCs and other parties that they will be expected to amend proposed default service plans when possible to incorporate changes which may arise out of the PUC’s investigation of Pennsylvania's retail electricity market; and
  • Provide guidance on default service plan components that the Commission believes can improve the competitive marketplace. 

The proposed recommendations address default service plan time periods; energy contract durations; retail opt-in auctions; referral programs; time-of-use rates; default service rate adjustment structure (residential and small commercial); and hourly-priced default service (medium commercial and industrial).

Interested parties have 20 days from the entry of the Commission order in which to provide comment. Specific instructions on how to file comments will be contained in the order.

On April 28, 2011, the Commission launched its retail electricity market investigation, which is being conducted in two phases.  The first phase was designed to assess the status of the current retail market and explore what changes need to be made to allow customers to fully realize the benefits of competition.  On July 28, 2011, the Commission directed OCMO to hold technical conferences to address intermediate and long term issues pertaining to the competitive retail electricity market and provide specific proposals for changes to the existing retail market and default service model. This second phase will examine and address how to best resolve the issues raised and implement the prudent changes identified based upon information gathered during the Investigation.

 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 website at

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Docket No. I-2011-2237952








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