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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: February 28, 2014 11:31 AM
From: Representative Robert W. Godshall
To: All House members
Subject: Retail Electric Generation Service
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to regulate the contracts offered to residential and small business customers by competitive electric generation suppliers.

Over the past two weeks, I have been contacted by numerous members on both sides of the aisle regarding variable rate supplier contracts and have also heard from many constituents who signed up for variable rate supplier contracts and received an initial rate of 6¢/kWh for the first month of service or other promotional period but then, such as in January, received bills charging as much as 30¢/kWh for the generation portion of their electric bill. While I understand variable rates are subject to change based upon changes in the wholesale electric market, additional information must be provided to consumers so that they know exactly what they are signing up for. Additionally, it currently takes up to one full billing cycle for a customer to change electric suppliers. This is much too long and results in customers being stuck with high rates for a period of time after they request to be switched to another supplier. I fully support the concept of electric competition but believe that the current process can be improved to provide additional consumer protections to mitigate future occurrences of “rate shock.”

My bill will address these concerns by requiring that specific information be contained in all supplier contracts and that this information is provided in an easily readable and understandable manner. The bill also places a cap on the amount by which a rate may change under a variable rate contract, prohibits cancellation and early termination fees for variable rate contracts, requires the posting of current and historic rates on the PA Power Switch website and reduces the amount of time it takes to switch electric generation suppliers.

Introduced as HB2104