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07/14/2024 07:14 AM
Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20230&cosponId=41358
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: September 1, 2023 10:16 AM
From: Senator Lisa M. Boscola
To: All Senate members
Subject: Reauthorizing Chapter 14 - Responsible Utility Customer Protection
 
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation reauthorizing Chapter 14 of Title 66 (Public Utility Code), also known as Responsible Utility Customer Protection. This consumer protection provision is set to sunset on December 31, 2024, and it is our responsibility to extend Chapter 14 for another decade.
 
In short, the purpose of Chapter 14 is to ensure the rates of paying customers are not affected by the unpaid bills of other customers within a service territory. In the event a payment dispute arises between a customer and a utility, payment arrangements are set by the Public Utility Commission.
 
As previously stated, this is a consumer protection tool, and this tool can be improved. This updated version of Chapter 14 will focus on payment arrangement periods, utility employee safety, modernizing the way utilities communicate with ratepayers and updating acceptable arrearage limits. It is important that we keep current consumer protections in place to prevent large sums of uncollected debts. We must also be cognizant of the changing financial circumstances that a family can face at any time and provide protections for those households. While at the same time, provide assurance that customers who can pay will pay.
 
The Senate Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure Committee has already held one hearing on this topic and an additional future hearing is also in the works. There are many stakeholders who will be involved in this process, and it is high time we give them a bill that continues to meet the needs of consumers and utility service providers.
 
Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to reauthorize Chapter 14. 
 



Introduced as SB1017