Pennsylvania PUC Details Universal Service Programs for 2002
The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission recently released two online reports that provide extensive details on the state's universal service programs and on utility consumer activities.
The "Report on 2002 Universal Service Programs and Collection Performance of the Pennsylvania Electric Distribution and Natural Gas Distribution Companies," is the Commission's third annual summary on the universal service and collection performance of the six largest electric distribution companies (EDCs). For the first time all of the major natural gas distribution companies (NGDCs) serving over 100,000 customers, with the exception of PGW (Philadelphia Gas Works) are included in the report.
Data from each EDC and NGDC presents residential and low-income customer collection data including the number of residential customers, the number of accounts in arrears and on a payment arrangement, the number of accounts in arrears and not on a payment arrangement, the dollars owed by these two groups of overdue customers, the number of terminations, the number of reconnections, gross residential write-offs, total annual billings (revenues), and annual collection operating expenses.
Additionally, for each of the universal service programs types, which include customer bill assistance plans (called CAPs or customer assistance plans in Pennsylvania), usage reduction/ energy conservation, arrears forgiveness, and utility hardship or fuel funds, the report includes participation rates, spending levels, program costs, and source of income for participants. Additionally, there is a breakdown of spending by program component, i.e., administrative costs, customer credits and arrears forgiveness. The report also details utility hardship funds, listing ratepayer and utility shareholder contributions, number of households served, and average grants received.
The second report, "2002 Utility Consumer Activities Report and Evaluation, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission," details customer contacts, complaints and payment arrangement requests to the Commission's Bureau of Consumer Services (BCS) and presents BCS's evaluation of the customer service performance of the major gas, electric, water and telephone companies. Performance measures include consumer complaint rate, justified consumer complaint rate, response time to consumer complaints, payment arrangement request rate, justified payment arrangement request rate, response time to payment arrangement requests, infraction rate and termination rate.