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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: March 14, 2014 09:27 AM
From: Senator Lisa M. Boscola
To: All Senate members
Subject: Notification requirements for variable rate contracts & reduction of time frame to switch electric suppliers
As you may know, I recently circulated two co-sponsor memos. One would require new notification requirements for variable rate contracts, the other reduced of the time frame to switch electric suppliers. I have since decided to merge these two bills into one.
My new legislation will shorten the current time-frame for switching between suppliers from the current 16-45 days, to no more than 5 business days. My bill will also direct the Public Utility Commission to adopt regulations developing notification standards for Electric Generation Suppliers (EGS's) who offer variable rate contracts for residential customers to follow. The notification standards will:
  1. Require EGS's to send both a 45 day notice and a 15 day notice to customers who are currently on a fixed rate plan which is about to expire and will be replaced by a variable rate plan. The notice shall inform the customer that they are about to be moved to a variable rate plan if action is not taken by the customer;
  2. Require EGS's to electronically notify residential customers at times when their variable rate increased by 200% or more from the previous hourly rate;
  3. Require EGS's that offer variable rate products to post the variable rate publicly on their website with continuous real-time updates and;
  4. Mandate an EGS to verify a customer requesting a variable rate product through a person-to-person communication that would clearly and plainly disclose the full details of a variable rate plan, including that the variable rate is uncapped, the basis in which the rate is derived, and the terms and conditions of the contract the customer is entering.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation which will better educate and insulate customers from variable rate increases.

Introduced as SB1297