EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — The Pennsylvania Public Utility Committee (PUC) public comment period opens for a proposed settlement about consumer billing issues from PPL Electric Utilities.
The PUC is reminding customers on Tuesday of PPL and other concerned parties about the start of a public comment period regarding a proposed settlement that was sparked by consumer billing issues that stretched through much of 2023.
The settlement, proposed by the PUC Independent Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement (I&E) and PPL, includes payment of a $1 million civil penalty and PPL’s agreement to absorb more than $16 million in related costs.
Notice of the proposed settlement has now been published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, marking the start of a public comment period regarding the settlement.
SUBMITTING COMMENTS TO THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT:
Comments on the proposed PPL settlement are due by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024.
Interested parties can file comments electronically by opening and using a PUC eFiling account free of charge, through the Commission’s website. Using the PUC eFiling system is encouraged, to ensure that comments are filed on time.
Comments may also be submitted by mail, with overnight delivery recommended to ensure meeting the filing deadline, using the following address:
Secretary, PA Public Utility Commission
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Comments should reference the PUC docket number for this case: M-2023-3038060 and email or fax submissions are not acceptable.
The Commission will carefully review all comments received before issuing a final decision on this case.
Proposed Joint Settlement Between I&E and PPL
A comprehensive PUC investigation launched in early 2023 identified a widespread series of consumer issues including missing bills, inaccurate bill estimates, and customer service shortcomings resulting in a proposed joint settlement between I&E and PPL.
Under the terms of that proposed settlement, PPL will pay a $1 million civil penalty, along with a series of corrective actions in response to these billing issues. The proposed settlement also states that PPL has already refunded around $1 million to customers who received estimated bills and were overbilled due to the application of incorrect rates in the bills that addressed the estimated billing periods.
Also, PPL has voluntarily agreed to absorb more than $16 million in additional costs related to rectifying their billing issues, including:
Waiving voluntarily approximately $2.3 million in late payment fees.
Forgoing recovery of approximately $7.8 million of additional bad debt expense arising out of the voluntary service termination moratorium.
Forgoing collection of approximately $1.7 million from customers who were underbilled in the estimation true-up process.
Forgoing recovery of an additional approximately $3.7 million of unplanned costs in engaging external vendors.
Forgoing recovery of approximately $700,000 of unbudgeted employee overtime expenses.
Per the proposed settlement, PPL will not seek to recover any of these related costs in future rate cases or any other manner.