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A REVIEW OF UTILITY BENCHMARK CASES AUGUST 2013-2014 Margaret A. Morris, Esquire.

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1 A REVIEW OF UTILITY BENCHMARK CASES AUGUST Margaret A. Morris, Esquire

2 Margarita Kron v. PGW PM 8/29/13F  Complainant, landlord, requested that her service be discontinued on May 4, PGW chose to utilize a placeholder account for the “user without a contract.” Bill accumulated to $3,666. PGW asserts the Complainant is liable for usage.  ALJ Cheskis found PGW’s action unreasonable. The Complainant properly requested discontinuance of service but PGW chose not to shut off the gas but rather used a “placeholder account until a new customer of record applied for gas service.” The Complainant’s tenant resided in the apartment but never put service in their name. 2

3 Margarita Kron v. PGW (cont.) The practice of “user without a contract” was not used correctly (meant for short period of time) and cannot be used retroactively to justify sending the Complainant such a large outstanding bill for two years when it is undisputed that she requested that service be discontinued. PGW made independent decision not to shut off gas when Complainant requested discontinuance, but instead, utilized a placeholder account for the service address. PGW fined $500 for wasting the Complainant’s, as well as the Commission’s time and resources in attempting to justify its actions. 3

4 Precious Apartments v. PGW PM 9/12/13F  Complainant disputes responsibility for charges as a result of her tenant’s not timely establishing service. PGW asserts Complainant is a PA corporation and must be represented by counsel.  ALJ Pell issued a Prehearing Order requiring the Complainant to engage counsel and have the appearance filed with the PUC. The Complainant did not; Complaint was dismissed. 4

5 Precious Apartments v. PGW (cont.) Complaint was signed by an individual and the complaint form does not indicate the Complainant is a PA corporation. Matter remanded to OALJ to determine if the Complainant is a PA corporation. 5

6 Bertha Jones v. PGW PM 9/12/13C  Complainant alleges unspecified incorrect charges on her bill. PGW filed a PO alleging that the Complaint lacked specificity.  ALJ Salapa granted the PO setting a deadline for the filing of an amended complaint. The Complainant did not file an amended complaint; the Complaint was dismissed. ALJ Salapa distinguished his ruling from Elliot v. PECO wherein the PUC remanded the hearing finding that there was an underlying BCS Decision to provide info to the utility to prepare for the hearing. In the present proceeding, there is no underlying BCS Decision to inform PECO of the alleged incorrect charges nor has there been any PAR on the account.  ID adopted. 6

7 BCS PAR, when timely appealed, does not become operational so Complainant only had 1 PUC PAR. When BCS PAR timely appealed, need only pay current bills since PAR is stayed. 7 Douglas Park v. PPL PM 9/26/13F

8 Tiffany Wolfe v. PGW PM 10/24/13C & C  Complainant alleges she did not reside at Service Location; PGW asserts the matter was disposed of in the 2010 Complaint wherein a Certificate of Satisfaction was entered as a result of a settlement agreement. 8

9 Tiffany Wolfe v. PGW (cont.) Complainant not credible in light of ALJ Pell noting her express agreement in the 2010 complaint and reciting from that hearing’s transcript. Complainant vacated Service Location without taking service out of her name; she is legally responsible for charges while account in her name, regardless of whether she resided at Service Location. 9

10 Kisha Dorsey v. PGW PM 10/31/13F  The Complainant seeks a PAR on her balance which consists of CAP and non-CAP arrears.  Special Agent Hunt granted a PAR on non-PCAP arrears. 10

11 Kisha Dorsey v. PGW (cont.) PUC cannot establish PAR on CAP arrears. 1405(c) PUC can establish PAR on non-CAP arrears. 1405(b) PUC should not establish PAR for non-PCAP arrears based on the Complainant’s poor payment history and her inability to keep prior Company PAR. 11

12 Kisha Dorsey v. PGW (cont.) Reminded utilities that they have greater discretion than PUC in granting PARs. Suggested practice is to enter into additional PARs for utilities to help payment-troubled customers who are making good faith payments maintain their service. 12

13 Thomas M. Hartnett v. PPL PM 11/14/13F  Complainant is unable to pay bills and seeks a PAR. Company previously settled 2009 complaint by enrolling Complainant into its CAP program.  ALJ Salapa found that the Company properly explained the increase in the CAP payments several times; a PAR could not be directed since he previously defaulted on BCS PAR as part of the 2009 complaint. 13

14 Thomas M. Hartnett v. PPL (cont.) Complainant waived any right to object to testimony or exhibits by not doing so at the hearing. BCS PAR never went into effect since Company enrolled Complainant in its CAP program before the BCS PAR began. 14

15 Thanh Nguyen v. PGW PM 12/5/13F  The Complainant alleges there are incorrect charges and he should not be responsible for a makeup bill which was issued after PGW replaced his meter.  PGW responds that the meter was recording correctly, but that the AMR was not transmitting the readings for billing purposes. PGW also indicates that there was a theft of service at the property. 15

16 Thanh Nguyen v. PGW (cont.) ALJ Vero dismissed the Complaint but found that PGW violated Section 1501; there were 23 zero readings in 54 months and PGW never went to the property to investigate. The ALJ found that the removed meter was working within the PUC guidelines and that PGW properly issued the makeup bill for previously unbilled service due to theft of service. The ALJ did note that PGW did provide for a longer payback period than that required under Section 56.14, and assessed a fine against PGW in the amount of $1,750. ID adopted. 16

17 Michael John Sottile v. PGW PM 12/5/13C  The Complainant alleges that PGW provided inadequate service by failing to keep three separate appointments to turn on his service; failed to bill him for three years; and the makeup bill contained incorrect charges. PGW asserts that the missed appointments were due to the confusing service address (his address was on one street and the entrance to the home was on another) and a bill was not sent for three years due to lack of access to the home.  ALJ Heep dismissed the claim regarding incorrect charges, but fined PGW $200 for Section 1501 violation. 17

18 Michael John Sottile v. PGW (cont.) A civil penalty of $200 is not commensurate with the violation of poor customer service. PGW fined$1,000 for failing to issue monthly bills. 18

19 Barbara Pezzuto v. Met-Ed PM 12/19/13F  The Complainant alleges incorrect charges and she received a termination notice. She argues her bills became excessive once she was placed on budget billing. The Company denied the allegation and sought to dismiss the Complaint based on res judicata; her 2010 Complaint raised the same allegations.  ALJ Cheskis dismissed the high bill claim but ruled that the Complainant was entitled to a PUC PAR. He found that the PAR that settled the 2010 Complaint was not a PUC PAR, but rather a Company PAR. 19

20 Barbara Pezzuto v. Met-Ed (cont.) No evidence to sustain high bill allegation. The account balance grew as a result of not paying monthly bills in full. A PAR established to settle a complaint is not a PUC PAR. PUC directed PAR was appropriate. 20

21 Stephen Merrigan v. PECO PM 12/19/13F  The Complainant’s service is subject to termination and he requests an “affordable” PAR. PECO asserts the Complainant does not pay his bills on time and in full; he defaulted on PUC PAR.  ALJ Pell dismissed the Complaint for lack of prosecution noting Complainant attempted to withdraw his Complaint without prejudice, which was opposed by PECO. The ALJ found that the request to withdraw or to reschedule the hearing was not timely submitted and no good cause was provided. 21

22 Stephen Merrigan v. PECO (cont.) Given Complainant’s pro se status and apparent good faith attempts to continue the hearing, Complaint is dismissed without prejudice. 22

23 Frank Melfi v. PGW PM 1/9/14C  Complainant alleges PGW improperly filed lien against his rental property; he requests lien be removed and that he be re-instated in Landlord Cooperation Program (LCP).  PGW denies that Complainant was enrolled in LCP and asserts that the PUC does not have subject matter jurisdiction over municipal liens.  ALJ Jandebuer dismissed the Complaint for lack of jurisdiction. 23

24 Frank Melfi v. PGW (cont.) Concurred with ALJ’s determination that Commission lacks subject matter jurisdiction over municipal liens. How a company administers its program falls under Section 1501 (reasonable service). 24

25 Kenneth Treiber v. Penelec PM 1/9/14F  The Complainant alleges his tenants are responsible for the electric service per their lease and he objects to being held responsible for those bills. Penelec states that the electric accounts were in Complainant's name at the relevant times making him responsible for the services rendered.  ALJ Long sustained the Complaint in part, finding that with the exception of a two-week period for one of the accounts, the Complainant was not responsible for the past due balances for the three accounts. ALJ Long stated that Penelec was in a superior position retaining records of its contacts with customers. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to require specific evidence from Penelec to establish that the account is properly placed in the landlord's name. 25

26 Kenneth Treiber v. Penelec (cont.) Penelec cannot transfer service into a tenant's name at the request of the landlord without the tenant personally requesting service. Landlord can only request service be taken out of landlord’s home (note: landlord cannot discontinue service without tenant’s consent). Service was in Complainant's name with his knowledge; bills were sent to his home address. Commission does not have jurisdiction to settle a private financial dispute between a landlord and tenant. Penelec directed to review three accounts and determine what Complainant was billed and to rebill that amount (with any adjustments). 26

27 Robyn Irving v. PGW PM 2/6/14C  The Complainant objects to a make-up bill for 48 months of unbilled service. PGW alleges that the AMR was incorrectly programmed and only transmitted half of the gas passing through the meter.  ALJ Nguyen dismissed the Complaint and found that PGW’s explanation for the meter’s AMR malfunction reasonable; the Complainant is responsible for the gas service.  Complainant filed Exceptions arguing that she does not bear the burden of PGW’s programming error and wants a longer PAR for the makeup bill. 27

28 Robyn Irving v. PGW (cont.) Programming error does not absolve customer from duty to pay for services rendered; she benefitted from utility service. §56.12(5)(ii) permits utility to render makeup bill when an actual meter reading establishes that the customer was under-billed due to an error in the remote reading device. 48-month repayment period offered by PGW was consistent with 56.14(2). No LPCs permitted so long as PAR in effect. 28

29 Kimberly Szczepanski-Galindez v. PGW PM 2/6/14F  The Complainant objects to makeup bill for unbilled services as a result of a faulty AMR device. PGW asserts the makeup bill was consistent with Section  ALJ Vero sustained the Complaint, in part. Complainant showed the AMR and actual meter were malfunctioning, but failed to show that PGW acted improperly in issuing makeup bill. The meter test reflected that the meter exceeded ± 2% regulation; PGW must issue a new makeup bill reflecting the credit ($57.09).  Complainant filed Exceptions arguing she should not be responsible for unbilled charges from a meter found to have malfunctioned. 29

30 Recorded evidence shows that Complainant consumed more gas than was originally billed. Meter accuracy exceeded the 2% tolerance level prescribed in §59.22; billing credit of $57.09 is warranted for fast meter. Amortization period of 36 months was longer than required by §56.14(2). Kimberly Szczepanski-Galindez v. PGW (cont.) 30

31 Gary Eckenrode v. PECO PM 2/6/14C  Complainant alleges PECO took too long to restore service after Hurricane Sandy. PECO asserted that there were over 850,000 outages.  ALJ Guhl found that PECO’s standard protocol was reasonable to restore Complainant‘s service considering the major storm and number of outages.  Complainant filed Exceptions arguing that PECO’s Tree and Vegetation Maintenance Policy contributed to the number of persons that were affected by the power outage. 31

32 Gary Eckenrode v. PECO (cont.) Vegetation Maintenance Policy played no role in loss of service during Hurricane Sandy. PECO restored service to Complainant within seven days (transformer only served seven customers so low priority). 32

33 Frank Veasey v. PGW PM 2/6/14C  Complainant alleges that his service was terminated without notice, despite being current on his bill and PGW refused to restore service despite being presented with a medical certificate. PGW admitted that it properly terminated service for non-payment and that it was unable to restore service due to safety repairs required at the Service Location. 33

34 Frank Veasey v. PGW (cont.) Service was terminated for unpaid actual charges not for a budget amount. PGW is not required to restore service to a customer when a hazardous condition exists under §59.26; repairs must be made and verified before PGW will restore service. PGW may impose security deposit under §56.32 and a reconnection fee pursuant to §

35 Michael Prendergast v. PGW PM 2/20/14F  The Complainant challenged the makeup bill arguing his reduced usage occurred because of recently installed energy efficient appliances. PGW alleges that following a zero reading, it discovered that the ERT failed to record usage due to high magnetic counts.  At the hearing, ALJ Vero ordered PGW to test the meter and submit the test results as a late-filed exhibit.  ALJ found PGW properly issued makeup bill and offered 48 month PAR per Section Meter tested within PUC guidelines, but PGW improperly assessed LPC since the makeup bill was a disputed estimated bill. 35

36 Michael Prendergast v. PGW (cont.) PGW permitted to rebill for unbilled usage due to ERT failure. §56.12(5)(ii). Conservation credit for 20% is appropriate in limited circumstances: ERT failure was not fault of Complainant and time period (more than 4 years) that error occurred. Late-filed exhibit with accurate BTU readings, based on plate readings from each gas appliance, was properly admitted; Complainant was offered but declined to be present for testing. Admission of usage records was appropriate to show trends before and after magnetic interference with meter. 36

37 Patrick McKay v. WPP PM 2/20/14C  Complainant alleged WPP failed to notify him of a high meter reading (10x normal usage) and he is being billed for a smart meter that has not been installed. WPP asserts bills are correct as rendered (and offered 5- month PAR) and smart meter surcharge is authorized by PUC.  ALJ Dunderdale sustained the Complaint in part, finding (1) the Complainant was properly charged for the electricity recorded by the meter; (2)smart meter surcharge is authorized by PUC to reflects cost to develop a plan to deploy smart meters; (3) WPP violated Section 1501 by not notifying the Complainant until March 2013 of his high meter reading in December 2012 (Company estimated usage for billing purposes), which denied him the opportunity to revise his lifestyle/usage. Penalty of $500 assessed pursuant to Section (c).  ID adopted. 37

38 Patrick McKay v. WPP (cont.) Penalty affirmed for failure of WPP to provide adequate customer service. Encouraged WPP to re-offer the 5-month PAR previously declined by Complainant. Customer Service Is key! 38

39 Marcus Brown v. PGW PM 3/20/14F  Complainant alleges he should not be responsible for increased usage due to a leak on his side of the meter. PGW tariff clearly states that it is not responsible for any lines or leaks beyond the meter.  ALJ Heep found PGW was not required to bear cost of gas that escaped after meter due to leak. The Complainant’s balance was due in large part to paying less than billed on of the monthly bills. 39

40 Marcus Brown v. PGW (cont.) PGW tariff is clear: leak after meter is the responsibility of the customer. Outstanding balance is due to nonpayment of monthly bills in full. 40

41 Shymar McBride v. UGI PM 3/20/14C  Complainant alleges UGI refuses to restore his gas service until an outstanding balance for another service location was satisfied. UGI filed PO asserting res judicata based on his 2013 Formal Complaint.  ALJ Salapa treated the PO as a Motion for Judgment on the pleading since res judicata must be pled in New Matter, not PO. ALJ found requirements of res judicata were met.  ID adopted. 41

42 Shymar McBride v. UGI (cont.) Joint Dissent: Cawley and Brown  Complaints were not identical.  Company improperly pled Complainant’s responsibility for the previous Service Location in Answer and not New Matter; Complainant not properly advised of issue.  Complainant, pro se, is penalized for failing to address every allegation that a utility’s lawyer makes in its Answer. 42

43 Alliance of Youth Ministries v. PECO PM 4/3/14C  Complainant alleges PECO is holding them responsible for usage associated with a prior tenant. PECO asserts the Complainant is playing the corporate name game.  ALJ Pell found the Complainant accepted responsibility for the charges when it entered into a PAR for the balance that included charges from date of purchase of property and PECO’s Tariff permitted the back billing. 43

44 Alliance of Youth Ministries v. PECO (cont.) PECO’s Tariff authorizes the use of the deed when determining liability for a past due balance. PECO’s business records are an exception to the hearing rule. ALJ properly weighed the evidence and testimony. PUC-approved Tariff provisions are prima facie reasonable. Complainant had burden of proof that PECO’s decision to back-bill it violated the Code, Regs on Order of PUC; they did not carry burden. 44

45 Michael Kline v. Penelec PM 4/3/14C  Complainant alleges his makeup bill was the result of an employee error in using an estimated reading rather than the obtained actual reading for three bills; two intervening bills were also incorrectly estimated.  ALJ Hoyer found the bills correct as rendered noting that the Complainant has obligation to pay for unbilled service per Section

46 Michael Kline v Penelec (cont.) Penelec incorrectly billed the customer for estimated readings rather than actual readings obtained. Customer received five consecutive estimated bills in violation of Section which constituted unreasonable service under Section Company did not provide good faith explanation as to why billing errors were made. Civil penalty of $500 assessed. 46

47 Mark Mazza v. PECO PM 4/23/14C  Complainant filed Complaint # 6 challenging termination notice for nonpayment arguing that since the US Supreme Court had not ruled on his prior complaints, his complaints were still pending at the PUC. PECO filed a New Matter alleging abuse of process and requested that the Complainant to be barred from filing future complaints until the balance of the last PUC PAR ($9,742) was paid.  ALJ Barnes dismissed the Complaint, denied 2nd PUC PAR and granted PECO’s request to bar future filings until PAR balance is satisfied. 47

48 Mark Mazza v. PECO (cont.) ALJ not required to make finding that the Complainant lacked credibility; Complainant failed to carry burden of proof for his claims; Chapter 56 must be construed in the context of establishing a process for resolving disputes, informal and formal complaints per §§ ; Once PUC renders a final order on a formal complaint, there is no longer any pending dispute or complaint with the meaning of §56.141(2); at that point all disputes and complaints have been resolved within meaning of §56.141(2); Stay per §56.141(2) is lifted unless PUC Final Order is stayed by Commonwealth Court; Per §56.2 definition of PAR: the balance of the last PAR is the undisputed amount: last PAR negotiated on 8/2012 on balance of $9,742.85; 48

49 Mark Mazza v. PECO (cont.) Failure to except to a FOF is a waiver of issue. Complaints #1-5 have been resolved in PECO’s favor—so no pending offset claim; PUC waived §56.141(2) authorizing PECO to terminate for failure to pay $9, while Complaints #7-9 pending. No change in income so no subsequent PUC PAR since he defaulted on PUC PAR established in Complaint # 2 per §1405(d); PECO carried its burden of proof: Mazza has abused process in order to enjoy continuous electric service while his arrearage continued to increase; Mazza, any member of his family, or anyone else associated with the account is barred from filing informal/formal complaint for Service Location until $9, paid; 49

50 Jere Lefever v. PPL PM 4/23/14C  Complainant alleges that PPL stated he would not be responsible for the electric arrearage accumulated by tenant since he corrected the foreign load at the property.  ALJ Colwell sustained the Complaint based on PPL’s refusal to enter customer contacts; allegation of Section 1501 violation was not refuted; Company fined $1,

51 Jere Lefever v. PPL (cont.) Fine reduced to $500 since this was a one-time, isolated incident, not intentional, and since PPL cooperated with PUC. 51

52 Danielle Douglas v. PGW PM 5/22/14F  Complainant alleged incorrect charges and high bill. PGW asserts it adjusted the bills after the Complainant disputed the $71.75 credit provided by PGW. The meter tested fast per §59.22(a).  ALJ Hoyer sustained the Complaint finding PGW did not offer evidence to support its calculations. The ALJ did note that PGW conducted a high bill investigation which revealed that the Complainant’s heat source was not functioning properly causing the heater to run continuously; PGW is not responsible for Complainant’s heat system. PGW was directed to recalculate the bill and refund the meter testing fee. 52

53 Danielle Douglas v. PGW (cont.) PGW ordered within 30 days to submit specific information regarding the meter testing and the supporting calculation for the bill adjustments. Complainant has opportunity to file response to PGW submission. PGW encouraged to attempt amicable resolution. 53

54 Walter & Donna Painter v. Aqua PA PM 5/22/14C  Complainant alleges the DSIC surcharge consists of unfair trade practices, conversion and breach of contract since surcharge is applied to entire bill not prorated to effective date of surcharge. Aqua asserting its service and bills conform to its tariff that surcharge applies to bills issued/rendered not services rendered.  ALJ Johnson ruled that a hearing was not necessary since there was no factual dispute, and as a matter of law, the Company is permitted to assess the DSIC surcharge on a bills rendered basis. 54

55 Walter & Donna Painter v. Aqua PA (cont.) DSIC surcharge is consistent with Act 11, tariff and PUC precedent. Legality of surcharge on “bills rendered” is well- established. 55

56 Willie Clark v. PGW PM 5/22/14F  Complainant alleged that PGW was threatening to terminate her service without proper notice. PGW denied the allegation. Six months later, the Complainant filed a petition seeking to withdraw her Complaint without prejudice; PGW did not object to the requested withdrawal. 56

57 Willie Clark v. PGW (cont.) Complainant demonstrated a change of facts that require the reopening of the proceedings. Since Complaint was withdrawn without prejudice, is more efficient to reopen the litigation, rather than requiring another formal complaint be filed. 57

58 Young & Haros, LLC v. Met-Ed PM 5/22/14C  Complainants allege reliability as a result of the outage related to Hurricane Sandy; seeks to switch his EDC to PPL and alleges Section 1501 violation for the way he was treated.  ALJ Jandebeur dismissed the Complaint finding that the restoration time frame was not unreasonable; Company followed protocol in prioritizing restoration (i.e. hospital, critical infrastructure, etc.). The inaccurate information provided by call center did not rise to unreasonable service. Complainant can change EGS not EDC. 58

59 Young & Haros, LLC v. Met-Ed (cont.) Where the Borough and EDC were lawfully empowered to provide service, the preference of the customer was controlling. Aspinall v. DQE. ALJ’s rationale that PUC rejected rational in Aspinall is incorrect. No duplication of services if customer permitted to switch EDC. Customer permitted to switch from Met-Ed to PPL. No §1501 violation. 59

60 David M. Williams v. West Penn PM 5/22/14C  Complainant alleges his AC unit was damaged as a result of a power surge; he seeks damages and acceptable voltage levels. 60

61 David M. Williams v. West Penn (cont.) Testimony supports Company violated § 57.14(b) by providing service more than 5% below standard for outage more than one minute in at least one instance. Facts do not support civil penalty. 61

62 David Kearse & Ronald Walker v. PGW PM 5/22/14C  Complainant alleges liens for unpaid gas bills should be removed – his tenant’s owe money – not him. PGW filed PO based on PUC’s lack of jurisdiction. 62

63 David Kearse & Ronald Walker v. PGW (cont.) PUC retains jurisdiction over service and compliance with tariff provisions. PGW placed account in name of person not on lease in violation of its tariff. Matter remanded for hearing. 63

64 Crystal Garber v. PECO PM 6/5/14C  Complainant alleged she is not responsible for outstanding charges because she did not reside at the Service Location and that PECO failed to discontinue service upon her mother's request. PECO denied all allegations.  ALJ Melillo dismissed the Complaint with prejudice for failure to appear noting that (1) she did not receive any notice that the Complainant was unable to attend prior to the hearing date (Complainant's mother advised at hearing that Complainant is incarcerated and that she has Power of Attorney); and (2) Power of Attorney does not authorize a non-attorney to represent an individual in a formal PUC proceeding. 64

65 Crystal Garber v. PECO (cont.) Complainant's incarceration was "unavoidable"; her failure to appear should not be construed as a waiver to participate. § Complaint should be dismissed without prejudice. 65

66 Joy Turner v. PGW PM 6/19/14C  Complainant seeks a PAR with mixed CAP and non- CAP arrears. PGW asserts a PAR is not permitted since CAP arrears and she previously defaulted on 2-Company PARs.  ALJ Heep directed PAR for non-CAP arrears based on Hewitt v. PECO.  PGW filed Exceptions arguing that Complainant must pay off CAP arrears before receiving PUC PAR for non-CAP arrears citing Cooper v. PECO. Complainant did not file Replies to Exceptions. 66

67 Joy Turner v. PGW (cont.) Complainant is not worthy of PUC PAR for non-CAP arrears: the balance exceeds $14,000; 2-defaulted Company PARs; and only two payments within 12 months of the hearing. PGW issue of whether CAP arrears must be satisfied first was moot since complaint not worthy of PUC PAR for non-CAP arrears. 67

68 Alexander Smith v. PGW PM 7/9/14F  Complainant disputes the make-up bill for 48 months of unbilled service that PGW alleges was the result of meter tampering.  ALJ Jones ruled that the identity of who tampered with the meter is irrelevant to the obligation for unbilled services. She limited the unauthorized period to 21 months and directed a new bill with no usage for gas stove or water heater included. 68

69 Alexander Smith v. PGW (cont.) No evidence that meter was tampered with; ERT was damaged. Complainant’s testimony established he did not use gas during the disputed period. CAP customer usage is reflected on monthly bill but at a discounted rate. PGW’s testimony and evidence was conflicting and contained inaccuracies. No makeup bill since no usage. PGW’s response to leak was referred to BIE for review. 69

70 Michael Prendergast v. PGW PM 8/21/14F  PGW filed a Petition for Reconsideration of the PUC’s February 27, 2014 Order which required PGW to issue a 20% conservation credit due to the six-year period the meter malfunction and the Complainant did not receive adequate price signals related to his gas consumption.  PGW argues the conservation credit constitutes impermissible compensatory damages, which are beyond the PUC’s jurisdiction. PGW asserts that after the PUC obtained jurisdiction over PGW in 2000, it agreed, in limited circumstances, to the application of the conservation credit, because it was a way for PGW to voluntarily provide customer satisfaction to those customers who experienced the inconvenience of receiving bills for previously unbilled services.  PGW argues that the conservation credit is only applied to their makeup bills, not other regulated utilities. 70

71 Michael Prendergast v. PGW (cont.) PUC’s authority permits equitable relief involving disputes within their purview. Conservation credit is not monetary damages but rather constitutes an individual rate preference for the Complainant, which the PUC deems reasonable. PUC troubled by PGW’s sudden unwillingness to agree to the credit given the facts of the Complaint (i.e., meter malfunctioned for six years; no recorded evidence that the Complainant was at fault for the meter malfunction; and PGW’s recent application of credit in Robyn Irving v. PGW). 71

72 Michael Prendergast v. PGW (cont.) The facts in the present proceeding provided reasonable and substantial basis for departing from PUC prior order in Sottile v. PGW, in which the PUC found requested relief was for damages. Remand necessary to determine if the level of conservation credit sufficient to remedy the inaccurate price signals that the Complainant received prior to the correction of his meter. PGW directed to submit into the record the results of any gas usage analysis prepared in its investigation of this complaint proceeding. PGW directed to prepare gas usage analysis estimating what the Complainant’s usage would have been if the meter were not corrected and a summary of the Complainants actual consumption after the meter was corrected. 72

73 Leona Oliphant v. PGW PM 8/21/14C  Complainant seeks PAR to restore gas service. PGW asserts PAR not warranted given the high balance and four previously defaulted PARs, including the CAP agreement.  ALJ Cheskis directed PGW to reconnect service and directed a PAR for the non-CAP arrears.  PGW filed Exceptions arguing that prior to the PAR for non-CAP arrears becoming effective, the Complainant must first satisfy all CAP arrears. 73

74 Leona Oliphant v. PGW (cont.) A PAR for the non-CAP arrears where the Complainant is likely to default is not in the customer’s best interest. A PUC PAR for the non-CAP arrears is not appropriate, given the Complainant’s poor payment history and default of prior PARs. PUC did not address issue as to whether a customer must satisfy CAP arrears before a PAR for non-CAP arrears become effective. 74

75 Questions? MARGARET A. MORRIS, ESQUIRE REGER RIZZO & DARNALL LLP CIRA CENTRE, 13th FLOOR 2929 ARCH STREET PHILADELPHIA, PA T: E: 75


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