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UGI Utilities Service Area Providers

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Provision Power & Gas
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News Articles About UGI Utilities

PA Utility Bill Help Ends Soon

Posted on
Get utility bill help now. The PA Utility shut off moratorium is over and customers who owe need to set up budget-friendly payment arrangements with their utility before the deadline expires!
PA energy customers who owe need to set up utility bill help before the deadline expires!

How Bad Are PA Utility Shut Offs Really?

When the COVID-19 crisis hit in March, 2020, the PA PUC enacted an emergency order to prevent utilities from shutting off customers for not paying. The state's utilities also announced how they would help customers set up payment plans to get through the hardship. Beginning April 1, 2021, utilities resumed shutting off customers who had not paid their bills. Because many customers had lost jobs and income, many expected a deluge of shut offs. But, according to reports from PECO and the PA PUC, there was no "tidal wave" of shut offs. Since April 1, the utilities have shut off service to 116,000 PA electricity customers for not paying. Yes, that certainly is a lot of people losing their electrical service. But, PA's utilities report shutting off non-paying customers at a slower rate than they did in 2019.
  • According to account reports filed with the PUC, PECO turned off power to 25,088 residential customers in April 2021. While that sounds drastic, PECO shut off more residential customers, a total of 39,515, in 2019. Also, twice the number of commercial and industrial customers faced shut offs for nonpayment in 2019 versus those in 2021.
  • First Energy Utilities (Met Ed, PenElec, Pen Power, and West Penn Power ) also reported more customers risked shut offs in 2020 than in 2021.
  • UGI reported much the same with 71,219 of its energy customers at risk in April, 2019, but only 56,720 in April, 2021.
  • PPL reported that in April 2019 a total of 109,161 residential accounts faced shut offs. However, in April 2021, 111,751 residential accounts were in trouble; PPL disconnected only 266.

High PA Utility Bills

Certainly these shut off statistics sound encouraging. However, customers must pay their utilities for the electricity and natural gas they used during the period. But even though utilities announced payment plans when the crisis began, most customers who owed put off setting them up. And the amount they owed to their utility just piled up. At rough estimate, an average PECO Price to Compare customer using 864 kWh per month during the period paid about $100 per month. That means that for the period from March 2020 to April 2021, that customer could owe about $1200 or more. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that $479 million in unpaid bills at the end of June. That's 41% over 2019 levels. Both residential and commercial unpaid balances are 54% higher than last year. PECO reports that only 2% of its overdue customers actually set up payment plans. And, by the beginning of June, some 146,000 customers (9% of the total) owed PECO.

PA PUC Payment Help Program

In March, the PUC set up the #CallUtilitiesNow program to get customers to call their utility for help to pay their bills. Depending on income, customers can get up to 5 years to pay off the amount they owe. However, the program will not last for much longer. Customers who still owe and haven't set up a payment plan need to get moving on this. The deadline to set up a payment plan with their local utility ends September 30, 2021. If you need help paying energy bills, contact your your local utility and set up a payment plan now.

Get Ready for Your July 1 Pennsylvania Electric Utility Refund!

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The PA PUC directed the state’s 17 utilities to refund charges to customers.
The PA PUC calls it a “negative surcharge”. We prefer “refund”.
Either way, you’re getting money back from your local utility!

Why Is My PA Utility Giving Me A Refund?

Starting on July 1, all Pennsylvania electricity customers will receive a “negative surcharge” or monthly credit on ALL their utility bills, totaling some $320+ million. The refund is the result of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 which reduced corporate income tax rates from 35% to 21%. In considering the increased profits to the utilities, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) determined that “due to the substantial decrease in the federal corporate tax rate that became effective on January 1, 2018, it appears that existing rates may be excessive and, therefore, no longer just and reasonable.”

How Much Will My PA Utility Refund Be?

The refund doesn’t effect Pennsylvania electric supplier rates. Rather, the refund reduces the distribution portion of the bill that is charged by your local utility. The amount of refund, however, depends on who your local electric utility is:
  • Met Ed customers could see a refund of 8.55%
  • PenElec customers will see a refund of 8.5%
  • Penn Power customers will receive refund of 8.7%.
  • PPL customers might get only 0.56%.
  • West Penn Power customers will get 7.34%.
Meanwhile, there will be no July 1 decreases for Duquesne Light, PECO, or UGI Utilities Electric customers.
  • Duquesne Light has already applied to the PUC for a rate increase, and had been told to cut transmission rates by 4.09%. Rate reductions might be formalized once its rate case is heard later this year.
  • PECO petitioned the PUC back in March to allow it to raise its rates but is using its $68.3 million tax reduction to offset the amount billed to its customers by 5.31%. PECO’s request won’t be heard until the end of the year.
  • UGI Utilities — Electric also has a rate case pending with the PUC but is estimated to refund about 1.04% to its customers.