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Highlights: PA PUC Public Session of November 8, 2012

Note: Audio from each public meeting is available on the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s website for approximately six months.  To access the audio stream for this public meeting, please visit http://www.puc.state.pa.us/general/PMAudio.aspx.  The public meeting calendar and agendas may be viewed at http://www.puc.state.pa.us/general/public_meeting.aspx.

          At the October 24, 2012, Public Meeting of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (“Commission”), the Commissioners adopted Staff’s recommendations for action by a vote of 5-0 on all items listed on the Main Agenda and Carry-In Agenda, except as reflected herein below under the respective Commission agenda headings.  Review of particular items addressed by the Commissioners at this Public Meeting which may be of interest are addressed under the respective Commission agenda headings below.  Any relevant motions and statements are attached hereto and to the original of this Session Memo filed in the Public Meeting Agenda and Session Memo binder.  The next regular Public Meeting is tentatively scheduled for November 8 at 10:00 a.m.  The minutes of the Public Meeting of September 27, 2012, were, by a vote of 5-0, approved without modification.

MAIN AGENDA

 BUREAU OF TECHNICAL UTILITY SERVICES (Transportation)

  • All matters approved as submitted.

BUREAU OF AUDITS

  • Clarion River Gas-Orwell Natural Gas, 2328401-AUD, M-2012-2328401.  Gas Cost Rate. RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission direct the company to bill a Staff recommended GCR of $0.0786 per MCF and associated base cost of gas of $2.7672 per MCF to become effective with service rendered on and after 11/1/12.  Vote 5-0.
  • Walker Gas-Orwell Natural Gas, 2328406-AUD, M-2012-2328406.  Gas Cost Rate.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission approve the GCR and associated base cost of gas reflected on Attachment B of the report, to become effective with service rendered on and after 11/1/12.  Vote 5-0.

DIRECTOR OF REGULATORY OPERATIONS

  • Final Rulemaking, 2208332-DIR, L-2010-2208332, M-2010-2185981.  Regulations on Marketing and Sales Practices for the Retail Residential Energy Market. Interim guidelines were developed by PUC's OCMO (Office of Competitive Market Oversight) as a result of meetings with the working groups, CHARGE (Committee Handling Activities for Retail Growth in Electricity) and SEARCH (Stakeholders Exploring Avenues to Remove Competitive Hurdles). The proposed regulations will be applicable to both electric generation suppliers and natural gas suppliers.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the Final Order that issues the regulations.  Vote 5-0.
  • Interim Guidelines-Standards For Changing An EGS, 2270442-DIR, M-2011-2270442.  Based on customer complaints and EGS concerns, and at the request of the Commissioners' offices, OCMO explored options to shorten the timeframe for a customer to switch EGSs. A change in EGS can take from 16 - 45 days. Based on discussions with CHARGE and the Retail Market Investigation (Docket No. I-2011-2237952) participants, OCMO drafted interim guidelines that are intended to reduce the time required to accomplish customer enrollments by reducing the confirmation period from 10 to 5 days.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Final Order that issues the Interim Guidelines as described.  Vote 5-0.

OFFICE OF SPECIAL ASSISTANTS

  • Mitchell Pfeffer vs PECO, 2074802-OSA, C-2008-2074802.  Formal Complaint filed on 11/6/08, alleging that there were incorrect charges on his electric and gas bills.  PECO filed an Answer on 12/8/08. By Initial Decision issued 5/2/12, ALJ Heep: (1) sustained the Complaint, in part; (2) reduced the Complainant’s arrearage; and (3) established a payment plan. PECO filed Exceptions on 5/12/12. No Reply Exceptions were filed.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Opinion and Order that: (1) grants the Exceptions, in part, and reverses them, in part; (2) reverses the Initial Decision in part; and (3) remands the case to the OALJ for further development of the record.  The matter has been postponed to the 12/05/12 Public Meeting.
  • Mary Kingcade vs Philadelphia Gas Works, 2134662-OSA, C-2009-2134662.  Formal Complaint filed on 9/28/09, alleging that PGW failed to notify her or call the 811 service prior to excavating on her property. On 10/27/09, PGW filed an Answer denying the allegations. Hearings were held on 8/4/11 and on 10/19/11. In an Initial Decision, issued 5/23/12, ALJ Vero sustained the Complaint, in part, and directed that PGW cease and desist from further violations of the Public Utility Code and Commission regulations. The Complainant filed Exceptions on 6/11/12. PGW filed Replies to Exceptions on 6/22/12.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Opinion and Order which denies the Complainant's Exceptions and adopts the ALJ's Initial Decision.  The matter has been postponed to the 11/08/12 Public Meeting.

BUREAU OF TECHNICAL UTILITY SERVICES

  • UGI Utilities, Inc-Gas Division, 2198725-FUS, A-2010-2198725.  Application filed on 9/7/10, for approval to abandon distribution service to two residential customers located in Sugarloaf, Luzerne County, both of whom are currently receiving service under Rate GBM of the Company’s Tariff Gas - Pa. P.U.C. No. 5 in connection with the Company’s Gas Beyond the Mains program.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Order which denies the application.  The matter has been postponed to the 11/08/12 Public Meeting.
  • UGI Utilities Inc-Gas Division, 2221919-FUS, A-2011-2221919.  Application filed on 1/17/11, for approval to abandon distribution service to a single residential customer located in Quakertown. The customer is currently receiving service under Rate GBM of the Company’s Tariff Gas - Pa. P.U.C. No. 5 in connection with the Company’s Gas Beyond the Mains program.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Order which denies the application.  The matter has been postponed to the 11/08/12 Public Meeting.

LAW BUREAU

  • All matters approved as submitted.

OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE

  • Dawn Smith vs Pennsylvania Electric Company, 2292814-ALJ, C-2012-2292814.  Formal Complaint filed on 3/6/12, alleging that Penelec was responsible for a fire at a rental property owned by Complainant and her husband which resulted in over $2,000 in damage. In a Preliminary Objection filed 4/4/12, Penelec denied any responsibility for the fire and argued for dismissal of the Complaint on legal insufficiency/ jurisdictional grounds, and in New Matter filed 4/4/12, argued lack of standing on the part of the Complainant to represent her tenant and to assert a claim for losses on the tenant’s behalf. A preliminary hearing to consider oral argument on the Preliminary Objection was held on 7/6/12. The ALJ granted Penelec’s Preliminary Objection.  COMMISSION REVIEW:  That the Commission adopt the Initial Decision of ALJ Buckley that grants the Preliminary Objection of Penelec and dismisses the Complaint.  The matter has been postponed to the 11/08/12 Public Meeting.
  • Joseph Palla vs Peoples Natural Gas Co, 2293016-ALJ, F-2012-2293016.  Formal Complaint filed on 3/8/12, alleging improperly charged for natural gas service provided to his tenant over a two-year period and placing service into his name without notifying him of the existence of a foreign load at his rental property. A hearing was held on 6/1/12. COMMISSION REVIEW:  That the Commission adopt the Initial Decision of ALJ Dunderdale, sustaining the complaint, issuing a civil penalty against Peoples', and ordering a credit to the account due to overcharges.  The matter has been postponed to the 11/08/12 Public Meeting.  

CARRY-IN AGENDA

BUREAU OF TECHNICAL UTILITY SERVICES

  • All matters approved as submitted.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • A new PUC seal was unveiled before the start of Public Meeting.
  • Sonny Popowsky was recognized and honored for his years of service as Consumer Advocate in light of his upcoming retirement on 10/30/12.
  • A special observance and reception recognizing and celebrating the PUC’s 75th Anniversary was held after public meeting. 

NEXT PUBLIC MEETING IS TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED FOR THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012 AT 10:00 A.M.

* Denotes Order

 

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