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Boscola Pleased with PUC’s Consumer Protection Steps on Electric Choice
On April 3, 2014 ·
Harrisburg, April 3, 2014 – State Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-Northampton/Lehigh) today applauded the Public Utility Commission’s (PUC) proposed regulations that will give electric choice shoppers more detail, disclosure and timely information on their options.
“The bottom line is that these regulatory changes will save people money and enable consumers to make more informed decisions about electric choices and pricing,” Boscola said. “I am pleased with the commission’s decision and proud that many of the provisions in my legislation (Senate Bill 1297) were included in these regulatory reforms.”
Responding to local consumer accounts of being frustrated by the lack of information in the electric choice shopping process, Boscola recently introduced her bill to mandate clear and reliable pricing information.
By a unanimous vote today, the five-member PUC board made numerous regulatory changes, including several provisions proposed in Boscola’s bill. They include:
- Shortening the waiting period before people can switch retail electric suppliers. Under today’s regulatory change, customers can switch electric suppliers within three business days after notifying their electric distribution company;
- Providing more detailed contractual information on the conditions and limitations of electric price variability;
- Requiring separate mailings on expiring fixed-term contracts and changes to terms of service, and;
- Placing more emphasis on highlighting changes to pricing, terms and conditions.
The Northampton County lawmaker said there were additional regulatory changes she voiced support for with PUC members and fellow lawmakers. Among them are provisions that give consumers access to historical pricing information, and a requirement that electric suppliers provide a separate contract summary with a full disclosure statement to ensure that key terms and conditions are highlighted in a uniform, consistent way.
Boscola said she was particularly pleased to see the PUC took steps to follow her lead to significantly shorten the time it take consumers to switch between retail electric suppliers. She said the process previously could take up to 45 days, leaving many consumers at the mercy of a volatile retail electric market.
“I applaud the PUC for responding to the public outcry on these issues,” Boscola said. “In this case, it underscores what can be accomplished when an active and involved citizenry speaks out.”
Even though the new regulations carry the force of law, Boscola said she would continue to work toward getting all of the provisions of Senate Bill 1297 approved and enacted.
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