BEFORE THE PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION
En Banc Hearing on Implementation of Supplier Consolidated Billing Docket No. M-2018-2645254
Testimony of Terrance J. Fitzpatrick, President & CEO
Energy Association of Pennsylvania
July 12, 2018
1. SCB is inconsistent with Chapters 28 and 14 of the Public Utility Code
- The Competition Act contains separate sections setting out the obligations and requirements for EDCs and EGSs. 66 Pa.C.S. §§ 2807, 2809. Section 2807 is entitled “Duties of electric distribution companies,” and subsection (c) of that section is entitled “Customer billing.” This subsection provides that, subject to the right of a customer to choose to receive a separate bill from its EGS, the EDC may be responsible for billing for all electric services regardless of who provides them. There is no similar language in section 2809 authorizing EGSs to provide consolidated bills.
- The general language in the Competition Act providing that the Commission “may require the unbundling of other services” (66 Pa.C.S. § 2804 (3)) cannot reasonably be construed to empower the Commission to undo specific directives in the very same Act establishing that “customer billing” is a “duty” of EDCs. See, the Statutory Construction Act, 1 Pa.C.S. § 1933 (“Particular controls general”). Furthermore, Commonwealth Court has held that EDC obligations under the Competition Act may not be delegated to EGSs. Dauphin County Industrial Development Authority v. Pa. PUC, 123 A.3d 1124 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2015), appeal denied, 140 A.3d 14 (Pa. 2016).
- The above conclusion is reinforced by other provisions in Chapters 28 and 14 making EDCs responsible for customer service functions that accompany billing. For example, section 2807 (d) provides that “[t]he electric distribution company shall continue to provide customer service functions consistent with the regulations of the commission, including meter reading, complaint resolution, and collections.” Chapter 14 contains a myriad of provisions imposing duties regarding customer service on “public utilities,” a term that includes EDCs but not EGSs. 66 Pa.C.S. § 1403.
Please direct any questions or requests for more information to Nicole Luciano by email or phone at (717) 901-0604.