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Press Release

PUC to Hold Hearing on Future of PGW

Published on 10/31/2014

Filed under: Gas

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission today announced it will hold a hearing on the future of Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014.

“The PUC has questions about the next steps for PGW,” said Commission Chairman Robert F. Powelson in a letter inviting speakers. “The PUC was waiting to discuss these issues while it appeared a sale was actively under consideration.  Given recent developments, the Commission now would like to evaluate those concerns.”

The en banc hearing will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 14, 2014, at Drexel University’s Behrakis Grand Hall, 32nd and Chestnut streets, Philadelphia. The five PUC Commissioners will preside over the hearing. The public is invited to attend.  Those invited to appear before the Commission at the hearing include:

  • Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter
  • Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke
  • PGW CEO Craig White
  • Philadelphia Gas Commission Chairwoman Marian Tasco and Commission Executive Director Janet Parrish        
  • Philadelphia Building Trades President Patrick Gillespie
  • Local 98 IBEW President John Dougherty
  • Community Legal Services CEO Catherine Carr
  • Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce CEO Rob Wonderling           

The Commission has established a docket number where interested parties are invited to file written comments for consideration. Interested parties should file comments at docket number M-2014-2450704 with the Secretary of the Commission no later than Dec. 1, 2014. All documents will be posted on the PUC’s website.  To be considered, comments must be officially filed through the PUC’s eFiling system or served in written format with:

Rosemary Chiavetta, Secretary

PA Public Utility Commission

Post Office Box 3265

Harrisburg, PA 17105

“The Commission’s concern emanates from the very core of its mission – providing safe, reliable utility service at a reasonable price,” Chairman Powelson said. “The Commission’s unease with PGW’s current structure is well documented.”

The Commission’s concerns include:

  • In 2013, it cost PGW about $1.4 million to replace one mile of pipe.
  • About 49 percent of PGW’s pipeline (1,994 miles) is considered “at risk” and is in need of replacement.
  • At the current rate of pipeline replacement, it will take about 80 years to replace all at risk pipe.
  • Prior to beginning collection of the distribution system improvement charge (DSIC) in 2013, PGW was on a pace to replace the at risk pipe in 110 years.
  • PGW’s rates are the most expensive in the Commonwealth.  Residential heating customers pay about $225 a month, which, on an annual basis, translates into almost $600 more than residential customers of other gas utilities.  Similarly, Philadelphia’s largest employers pay almost $20,000 a year more in natural gas rates compared to the similar customers of the next most expensive natural gas company in the state.  Compared to the state’s cheapest natural gas rates, this number jumps to $45,000.
  • PGW customers pay about $183 a year to support customers participating in the company’s low-income programs, which is about $128 more than the natural gas utility average.

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 Follow the PUC on Twitter – @PA_PUC for all things utility.  “Like” PAPowerSwitch on Facebook for easy access to information on electric shopping.

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