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PA PUC Eliminates Utility’s Assistance Program Enrollment Limits

September 11, 2015—The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) voted unanimously this week to remove an enrollment ceiling on the Customer Assistance Program (CAP) of UGI Utilities, Inc. Low-income customers who enroll in the CAP make monthly payments to the utility based on household size and total gross income. This program helps UGI fulfill the PUC's requirement that all regulated natural gas and electric utility companies offer programs and protections to help low-income customers.

In its original 2014-2017 Universal Service and Energy Conservation Plan, UGI set the CAP maximum enrollment ceiling at 26,000 households. On April 15, 2015, UGI petitioned to remove the CAP enrollment limits. It stated that removing the ceiling would allow its companies greater flexibility to serve customers in need. No other jurisdictional electric or natural gas utility employs limits on their CAPs.

UGI Utilities does not foresee an increased burden on its ratepayers by removing the CAP enrollment ceiling. The utility found that CAP enrollment had not been artificially suppressed by the existence of the enrollment limits, nor had enrollment reached the enrollment ceiling while it was still in place. In Pennsylvania, utility companies are allowed to recover the costs of most universal service and energy conservation programs, including CAPs, from other residential customers. In the case of UGI Utilities, these costs are recovered through a rider tariff. To read more background about the CAPs offered by utilities in the state, please see the Clearinghouse website.

Sources: Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission, Press Release