PUC Announces Launch of Online Search Function for Utility Complaints
Published on 3/10/2015
HARRISBURG –The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today announced the launch of a PUC website feature allowing users to search by company for formal complaints filed against regulated utilities and suppliers.
The search feature, found at the PUC’s website, allows consumers to find and view formal complaints filed against all regulated utilities and suppliers. PUC Commissioners approved this complaint tracking system to make complaint information more easily accessible to the public, providing more transparency. The development of the function was led by PUC Chairman Robert F. Powelson and Commissioner Pamela A. Witmer.
“After last winter’s Polar Vortex and corresponding spikes in variable electric rates, the Commission received a record number of consumer complaints against electric suppliers,” said Commissioner Witmer. “This led us to conclude that it’s beneficial to customers to have clear access to the formal complaints on record for all regulated utilities – not just electric suppliers. However, it is important for customers to view complaints as only one measure of a company’s customer service.”
Complaints could concern billing issues, difficulty contacting the company, dissatisfaction with service or other issues. Consumers can search by company name, utility code or carrier ID. If searching for multiple companies, consumers can search by authority/service type and authority status. Complaints found on the database are formal complaints only; informal complaints filed with the Commission are not part of the public record.
“The implementation of this feature follows several other Commission measures, rulemakings and new education tools since last winter to require better and clearer information from electric generation suppliers. Each is designed to help consumers avoid a high electric rate for multiple billing cycles,” said Chairman Powelson. One measure includes enhancements to www.PAPowerSwitch.com by adding new information related to electric shopping and fixed and variable rates. The new formal complaint search mechanism on www.puc.pa.gov captures companies in all utility industries.
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 www.puc.pa.gov. 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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