Will a Customer Assistance Program rate hike affect my PA electric bill?
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has scheduled a meeting for November 5, 2018 to discuss a new price cap for the FirstEnergy Customer Assistance Program (CAP) customers. FirstEnergy’s Electric Distribution Companies (EDCs) in Pennsylvania are Penelec, West Penn Power, Met-Ed and Penn Power. At issue is a proposed new price cap for CAP customers as well as discussing the Customer Referral Program (CRP) scripts and the training that customer service operators will receive.
What is the FirstEnergy Customer Assistance Program?
The Customer Assistance Program, or CAP, is a program designed to “help income-qualified residential customers maintain electric service and eliminate their past-due balance.” Customers must meet certain income guidelines to be eligible. The company then works with the customer to determine what the customer pays compared to the cost of the energy they use. When CAP customers start a contract with an electric generation supplier, the FirstEnergy EDCs must offer a rate that is the same or lower than the utility’s “Price to Compare”, and it must not contain an early termination or cancellation fee.
The meeting scheduled for November 5 will discuss a new price cap for the program and how it could effect potential new Pennsylvania energy rates for FirstEnergy CAP customers in the future. Details have been forwarded to the Office of Competitive Market Oversight (OCMO) which is assembling a group of stakeholders interested in addressing the details at the upcoming meeting. A report will be provided to the Pennsylvania PUC by the end of January 2019.
What about changes to the FirstEnergy Customer Referral Program?
The other topic on the agenda relates to the Customer Referral Program (CRP) script. The CRP was initially designed to encourage shopping for electricity in certain Pennsylvania utility territories, and offers a “12-month fixed price that is set at 7% below the EDCs current Price to Compare.” The November 5 meeting plans to discuss the script used by customer service operators to refer eligible customers to the program and to provide appropriate training to the customer service operators so they are aware of who may be enrolled.
Stakeholders have until Friday October 19 to directly submit topics related to the price cap and CRP script that they would like to see discussed to the OCMO in preparation for the meeting agenda. They can contact OCMO by referencing Docket Number P-2017-2637855 et al. OCMO will then review the information submitted and distribute the agenda before the meeting takes place on November 5.
Continue to save money on your energy bills with PA Energy Ratings!
If you are a current First Energy EDC CAP customer, be aware that a new price cap may be coming your way. And as always, remember you can visit https://www.paenergyratings.com/electricity-rates to learn more and compare what electric plans are available in Pennsylvania at any time.