PUC Approves Elimination of Enrollment Limits for UGI Gas and Electric Customer Assistance Programs
Published on 9/3/2015
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today approved the petition of UGI Utilities Inc. - Gas Division (UGI Gas), UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc. (UGI PNG), UGI Central Penn Gas Inc. (UGI CPG) and UGI Utilities Inc. - Electric Division (UGI Electric) (collectively, UGI) to eliminate enrollment limits on Customer Assistance Programs (CAPs) in their Universal Service and Energy Conservation Plan (USECP).
The Commission voted 5-0 to approve UGI’s petition to remove the CAP enrollment limits from its 2014-17 USECP. UGI was directed to follow the customary procedures relating to cost recovery.
Of UGI’s total 596,816 residential natural gas and electric customers, 21,280 are CAP customers as of June 30, 2015. Prior to today’s approval, the CAP enrollment limit was 26,000 customers.
The Commission requires all regulated natural gas and electric utilities to offer programs and protections to help low-income customers maintain utility service, including CAPs. Customers enrolled in a CAP agree to make monthly payments to the utility based on household size and gross income. These payments may be for amounts less than the current bill.
While the Commission’s CAP policy statement does not address enrollment ceilings, the Commission has consistently approved, since 2006, USECPs and CAPs without enrollment limits upon request by utilities. No other jurisdictional electric or natural gas utility currently employs CAP enrollment limits.
Further, to ensure that eligible, low-income customers are provided affordable energy bills, jurisdictional utilities are allowed recovery of most universal service and energy conservation costs incurred to serve qualified low-income customers, including CAP implementation expenses. These costs are recovered from other residential customers.
UGI Gas, UGI PNG and UGI CPG provide natural gas distribution service to more than 600,000 customers in portions of 46 eastern and central Pennsylvania counties. UGI Electric provides electric distribution service to approximately 62,000 customers in portions of two northeastern Pennsylvania counties.
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-2013-2371824
Deputy Press Secretary
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