Monday, December 28, 2009

Bill Aims to Inform PA Energy Consumers

The commonwealth now has an Energy Consumer Bill of Rights.

The new document is meant to centralize several rules and rights that are not new. It was crafted by State Representative John Bear of Lancaster County, along with the Public Utility Commission and state Office of Consumer Advocate.

Bear says a lot of people have rights they don't even know about -- regarding when companies can shut off power, for example.

"A little, unknown fact: if you have up to 250% of the poverty level, which is up to $50,000 for a family of four, if you are at that or under, there's certain things utilities have to do. They can't just shut you off."

Another portion of the Bill of Rights explains how to choose an electric or natural gas supplier, which Bear says is especially important with the pending expiration of PPL's rate caps on January 1, 2010.

A copy of the document can be found on the PUC's website.

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