PUC Reminds Consumers of November 4 “Smart Hearing” for Public Input on Proposed Natural Gas Rate Increase by Valley Energy Inc.
Published on 10/28/2019
Filed under: Gas
PUC Reminds Consumers of November 4 “Smart Hearing” for Public Input on Proposed Natural Gas Rate Increase by Valley Energy Inc
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) reminds consumers of an upcoming “Smart Hearing” to gather public input on the rate increase proposed by Valley Energy Inc. (Valley Energy), which serves nearly 7,000 natural gas customers in Sayre and surrounding communities in Bradford County.
The “Smart Hearing” will begin at 1 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, and will be broadcast live on the PUC website, enabling residents throughout the Valley Energy service territory to see and hear the testimony being offered without the need to attend the hearing in-person.
Customers will be able to offer their testimony by telephone, from the convenience of their homes or other locations, to be included in the live internet stream and considered as part of the Commission’s review. In-person testimony from the Harrisburg hearing site also will be included, for those who prefer to comment in that manner. Those wishing to testify in-person can attend the hearing at the following location:
Commonwealth Keystone Building
Hearing Room 1
400 North Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Note: Consumers will be given the option of not having their testimony live-streamed, if they prefer.
PUC Administrative Law Judges Steve Haas and Benjamin Myers will preside over the hearing.
Those wishing to testify may do so either in person or by telephone. In person participation requires no further action - simply show up and sign in.
If you wish to testify by telephone, please contact the Office of Administrative Law Judge (OALJ) scheduling office at 717-787-1399 by Friday, Nov. 1, 2019 to provide your name, telephone number, and the topic of your testimony.
If you have special needs, the OALJ may be able to accommodate. Call the scheduling office at least three business days prior to the hearing to submit your request. Relay service is available for those who are hearing-impaired by calling 1-800-654-5988.
If you have any exhibits to which you will refer during the hearing, 3 copies must be sent to the Administrative Law Judges. All copies must be received at least 3 days before the hearing.
If you have any questions about testifying at the Smart Hearing, please contact the OALJ scheduling office.
Valley Energy Rate Increase Request
On Aug. 29, 2019, the Commission voted to suspend the proposed rate and revenue increase request of Valley Energy and assigned the case to the PUC’s Office of Administrative Law Judge for corresponding proceedings and the issuance of a recommended decision.
Valley Energy’s rate increase request, initially filed on July 1, 2019, proposed a natural gas distribution revenue increase of $1,034,186 per year (20.6%), though that request was revised by Valley Energy to an annual increase of $834,546 per year (16.6%).
More information on the ratemaking process is available on the Commission’s website.
A final decision by the Commission regarding the Valley Energy rate increase request is due by March 30, 2020.
Offering Testimony at a Public Input Hearing
Members of the public are welcome to attend public input hearings, either to observe or to speak. Any formal testimony that is offered during the hearing will become part of the record on which the PUC will issue its final decision.
The PUC offers tips on how to participate, including:
Prepare what you are going to say beforehand. Even though it is not required, you may want to write out your statement, which can be read.
Bring copies of your remarks. If you have a written statement you would like to give to the judge as evidence, please bring two copies for the court reporter and several copies for the other participants.
- Understand that parties in the case may want to ask you a question to clarify something you said.
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 www.puc.pa.gov 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.
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