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PA PUC Votes to Launch “Home Energy Burden” Study

March 24, 2017 – Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioners have voted to explore the sensitive issue of how much low-income customers should be required to pay for monthly energy costs. State policy established in 1992 sets the limit at 17 percent of the household’s income.

PUC Vice-Chairman Andrew G. Place and Commissioner David W. Sweet say that the steady volume of complaints from low-income customers who are unable to keep current on their discounted payment plans suggest that the state’s limit for its customer-assistance programs “may be too high.”

"The Commission routinely considers complaints involving residents enrolled in CAP [customer assistance programs] programs failing to keep up with payments, accumulating arrearages, facing service disconnection and loss of program eligibility," noted Place in the joint motion proposing the study. "This payment, assistance and arrearage cycle is a recurrent issue for many low-income customers."

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