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Titan to Return $281,000 To PA Consumers

Titan to Return $281,000 To PA Consumers

The Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA) announced that Titan Energy, which was purchased by AES Power Direct, LLC for $6 million in cash at the end of July, will be returning an estimated $281,000 in uncashed deposit checks to approximately 6,300 of its Pennsylvania customers in the Columbia Gas and Peoples Natural Gas service territories (see NGI, July 31).

"Titan Energy customers who had sent in checks to remain on a fixed rate natural gas contract, in response to a June, 2000 letter from Titan will receive their checks back and will remain on their existing fixed rate contract with Titan," said Consumer Advocate Sonny Popowsky.

After Titan filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection during the Fourth of July weekend, the OCA went down to Georgia to enter the case on behalf of Pennsylvania consumers.

"Our concern at that time was that we knew the original Titan Energy had collected these deposit checks and we wanted to make sure that those checks did not get lost in the bankruptcy proceeding," said Popowsky. "We were afraid that customers would lose their contracts and lose their checks. We intervened in the Georgia bankruptcy case to ensure Pennsylvania consumers were not forgotten."

In the bankruptcy order, the OCA entered an agreement with AES Power allowing the 6,300 customers who had sent checks to secure their fixed rate contract, to receive their deposit checks back and stay on that contract. In addition, the new Titan is issuing another letter to its remaining 40,000 customers in the Columbia and Peoples Gas service territories giving them the option to stay on the fixed contract if they choose to do so.

"These letters will give customers three options," said Popowsky. "Customers can choose to remain on the fixed rate contract; they can switch to a monthly variable rate; or they can choose another supplier, including their regulated natural gas distribution company. There is no charge or deposit requirement for any of these options, but it is important for all customers to let Titan know which option they are choosing by October 27."

Customers that fail to respond will be put on the monthly variable rate program by default. Customers with questions can reach Titan at 888-427-4872, or the OCA at 800-684-6560.

The consumer advocate said the new Titan Energy has been very cooperative. "I think that it is a very positive development that AES has taken over an agreed to continue to serve these customers, and also agreed to return the checks," he said. Some customers began receiving their deposit checks on Sept. 28, he added.

Alex Steis

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